Take Heart and Look Up: 10 Suggestions for a Fruitful Lent

March 18, 2019

Christ knocking at the door

Ash Wednesday is now in the past, and maybe you’re disheartened at how you have failed to follow through on your Lenten resolutions. Here’s the good news: “For he says, ‘At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.’ Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). Take heart, look up, and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus; it is for Him and with Him that we journey through Lent to the great solemnity of Easter! Without Him we can do nothing (cf. John 15:5).

winding road

During Lent, the Church always places special emphasis on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Let’s briefly look at a few concrete ways to practice these as you continue your Lenten pilgrimage with Christ:

  • Increase your devotion to Our Lady, especially through her rosary. If you don’t already pray the rosary daily, consider adding at least a decade to your daily prayer life. To learn more about the rosary, check out our guide to praying the rosary and the 15 promises made by Our Lady for those who faithfully recite the rosary.
  • Spend 15 minutes each day prayerfully reading the Bible—maybe a psalm and a passage from the Holy Gospel.
  • Turn off your phone for a period of time every day, and spend that time praying, visiting a shut-in, spending time with your loved ones, or visiting the Blessed Sacrament at your local parish.
  • Observe a specific period of silence each day; speak only when necessary.
  • Pray short, easily memorized prayers throughout the day, to help you focus on Our Lord.
  • Besides donating money to a worthy cause, pray for the people the donation will help.
  • As we discussed in an earlier post, pray “O Jesus, I abandon myself to you. Jesus, you take over” as you strive to surrender yourself to Our Lord and His loving plan for your life.
  • Strive for a cheerful disposition. “The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Neh. 8:10). Spread the sunshine of Jesus’ love to all you meet.
  • Focus on adding two or three healthy foods to your menu to replace several that are not good for you; God wants us to take care of our health.
  • Lent is an excellent time to go to confession and amend our lives. Jesus is waiting for us in the sacrament of penance, to forgive our sins and give us the grace we need to live holy lives. For a guide to confession, check out the one on our website.

May your Lent be blessed abundantly as you strive for a closer walk with Our Suffering Savior!

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