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The Lenten Season - A Chance for Transformation

Lent is a season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as a preparation for the celebration of Easter. It typically lasts for 40 days, mirroring the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. This penitential season is meant to bring you to a place of transformation at the end of 40 days, so you feel renewed and closer to God. If you are reading this after Lent has started, keep reading. You can start your Lenten commitments at any time during the Lenten season. So.. here are some common practices and suggestions for Lent:


Lent is a time for deepening your relationship with God through prayer. Consider setting aside specific time each day for prayer, reflection, and spiritual reading. One consideration is to commit to going to Adoration once a week. 


Fasting is a traditional Lenten practice that aids in the practice of self-discipline from the things of this world. Some people choose to abstain from certain foods, while others may fast from particular habits or activities. We are also called to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, along with abstaining from meat during all the Fridays of Lent.


Lent is an excellent time for acts of charity and helping those in need. Consider volunteering your time or resources to charitable organizations, or simply helping those in your community who are less fortunate. 

Purple image with Lenten symbols of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving

Here are a few options to enhance your prayer, fasting, and almsgiving this Lent: 

Scripture Reading

Spend time reading and meditating on sacred texts. You might find your meditation on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in the Gospels to be very fruitful during Lent. But, in all honesty, you can pick any book of the Bible and start reading. I would recommend finding a good commentary as a supplement to your reading of Scripture as well.


Sacrament of Reconciliation 

Consider participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) as a way to seek forgiveness and spiritual renewal. As Catholics, we are called to go to Confession at least once a year, so take advantage of this Sacrament during Lent. There are a lot of resources available online on how to make a good confession. I would recommend using the Laudate app. 


Use this time for self-examination and reflection on your life, values, and relationship with God. Keeping a journal is a great space to write your reflections and thoughts. 

Attending Church Services

Participate in Lenten services and liturgies offered by your church or community. This includes attending Mass on Sundays, but also consider going to Mass an additional time during the week, attending Stations of the Cross at your parish, or signing up for other parish events or Bible studies that help you focus on the Lenten journey.


Simplify your life during Lent by decluttering both your physical space and your schedule. This can help create a more focused and contemplative environment. Some people will do a 40-day decluttering challenge where they get rid of one item per day of Lent and donate the items to a reputable charitable organization. This helps with almsgiving at the same time. 

Setting Spiritual Goals

Identify specific spiritual goals you'd like to achieve during Lent. Whether it's developing a new spiritual discipline, overcoming a particular vice, developing a virtue, or deepening your understanding of a specific aspect of your faith, setting goals can provide direction. 

Remember that the goal of Lent is not just to give up something for the sake of sacrifice but to use this time for spiritual growth, self-discipline, and drawing closer to God. Hopefully by the end of your Lenten journey, you will feel transformed and renewed with hope, even if in small ways. Lent is a personal journey, so tailor your Lenten practices to your own spiritual needs and seek guidance from your parish priest or spiritual director/mentor. I pray that by the time Easter arrives, you will experience a deeper relationship with God our Father


Blue butterfly on dark background, with verse from Romans 12:2


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