How do you plan to go deeper in your faith this Lent?
For a start I want to figure what penance and conversion the Lord might wish as most needed. It could be coincidence but every Lent I haven’t got that sorted, something really difficult happens.
That sorted, I hope to grow in faith and trust…and in wisdom, with God’s help. More time with the Blessed Sacrament.
Since you ask us, you have a plan or some ideas you’d like to share?
Looking again at your signature…I guess you already have!
Personally, I am still thinking about it. There are several good recommendations for Lent on the blog. However, I think I have a lot of room for prayer and consideration. I would like to hear the ideas of the wise humans here.
Here’s my personal thoughts following the outline on the blog:
Intensify Personal Prayer Life: I think I will pray an additional mystery to my daily prayer - the Sorrowful mysteries. Preparation on meditations the night before etc.
Embrace the Cross: I am working on a complete change in my diet for health reasons. I don’t like it - I don’t feel good. However, with Lent coming, I think this time will help me to embrace the challenge better and offer it up to Him and for others.
**Practice Charity: ** I think I will schedule times to pray the stations of the Cross as specific parishes in our diocese. I will pray and offer the prayer for the leadership and the health and fidelity of the parish.
Find a Mass to watch on TV or online, daily … if one cannot attend daily Mass, or, read the daily readings. Continue the abstinence of Friday, throughout the year and try to include the family. Make a donation to the soup kitchen and the other charitable societies, with items no longer needed, and do that throughout the year too. The Holy Spirit may move you to fast, one should fast between meals during Lent, and, that might be a nice thing to continue beyond Lent, if it were possible. These are my intentions. Maybe continue a promises, like to pray more for others, we made during Christmas. I also pass out the last year’s batch of Catholic Digest to someone who is Catholic, but doesn’t attend Mass.
Lent: The blog’s Priest guest has it all beautifully.
We have, in the past, attended Wednesday evening Mass during Lent. Went to confession with the Parish and try to bring the family. Magnificat or another one for daily Lenten Readings, a parish handout is sometimes distributed in the Parish … an extra copy can go to someone who wants one. Attend and participate in Holy Week Services, also Stations of the Cross, and infrequently, Vespers.
Here is the link to a brochure I recieved about the Secret of Fasting. For me, It is an every Friday spiritual experience which will elevate during Lent. It may also help those just preparing for Lent.
I heard of this on Catholic Answers Live.
I would like help on how to prepare for Lent. :shrug:
I hope to understand certain things in more depth and have more devotion to them before Easter. As of now, this includes:
** Hypostatic union ** I do not seem to be wise enough to really grasp this. I kind of understand but also do not. I know it is a mystery so I may never understand but I hope to understand better.
The Purpose of the Crucifixion Why did Christ deem it better to be crucified than to be exalted, to work great miracles, to create humans without the potential for sin? I am guessing that it is because humiliations lead to glorification, but I hope that some saintly or Popely advice will help to clarify my questions. :shrug:
**Identifying with the Suffering of Our Lord ** Right now, I struggle to feel sorry for him and sympathize with him when I meditate on the Sorrowful mysteries during the Rosary. I think that I experience Christ in a very intellectual, abstract way, and it might perhaps be good for me to feel more for him as well, to feel mercy and sorrow for the evil and ingratitude that he encountered.
I hope that by reading Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT._.E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us. and Mystical City of God themostholyrosary.com/mystical-city.htm
In Defense of The City of God Mystica Civitate Dei: dailycatholic.org/issue/05Jun/jun10tim.htm - to summarize the research of three priests on the official decision of the Holy Roman Catholic Church regarding The Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Jesus of Agreda and to ascertain thereby whether it is permitted for anyone of any authority whatsoever to forbid the reading of this extraordinary book.
I will understand more - as these books have already immensely aided my understanding - but I am open to other suggestions.
P.S. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about St. Josemaria Escriva on these forums. Might someone help me to understand why they find him helpful, beneficial and/or inspiring. Also, maybe someone could tell me if he has any wonderful works on the Crucifixion or if anyone else knows of other saints that particularly helped them with the, minimum of three, problems that I wrestle with above.
I hope to prepare for Lent… by prayer and as frequent as possible… receiving of Holy Communion.
I pray for the grace to get at least one of my major faults under control during Lent. His Will be done.
First, he’s very practical in his advice, which is perfectly suited for people living a contemplative life in the world. Second, I find he helps me be more intimate with Our Lord, through the straightforward, daring way he talks about Him. Third, he’s both demanding and optimistic. Fourth, he’s totally faithful to the teachings of the Church, as one would expect from a saint.
For me, no other reading is as satisfying.
Today I signed up for a day of reflection for women being offered within the diocese. Each Lent, I try to make sure to take advantage of at least one of that type of experience that includes Mass. Sometimes they are fruitful, sometimes they seem pretty lame. And, many times, they seem pretty lame and bear fruit later on!
I am also beginning to **think **about it. If my counting is correct, next Sunday (not this weekend, the next) begins what used to be called (and perhaps still is, but I haven’t heard it mentioned in decades) the season of septuagesima. A period of time before Lent in which to prepare for this holy penitential time. So your ideas may well inspire me!
I like to use Lent to work on my vices. Last year, I cleaned out my closets, donated what I didn’t wear to Catholic Charities, and pared my wardrobe down for the duration: 4 tshirts, 2 pairs of jeans, a few other shirts, 2 dresses. I only wore a minimum of makeup.
I’ll probably do this again. I also want to practice silence. I will try to curb my tongue all the time; perhaps one day a week I won’t talk at all unless I am spoken to (and as often as possible without hurting my marriage through the rest of the season).
I need to pick some more spiritual reading, though …
And of course Lenten devotions - stations of the cross, daily rosary/divine mercy chaplet, etc.
Something that St. Josemaria said really sticks with me regarding Lent: “Choose mortifications that don’t mortify others.”
I heard an Opus Dei priest year after year tell us that our families should look forward to Lent because we take extra good care of them then - putting ourselves last and putting them first.
I love that.
If you have time check these spiritual pearls about lent-
I just had this discussion with my spiritual director yesterday. His advice:
*]Sometimes the best penances are the ones God chooses for us (for example, being faithful to our duties even when we don’t feel like it).
*]If I choose a penance for myself it should be something that will bring me closer to God but will not take me away from family responsibilities.
*]He suggested lectio divina every morning, using the four traditional steps (lectio = read a short passage from scripture; medidatio = “chew on it”; oratio = talk to God about it; contemplatio = “taste” it), and adding a fifth: actio = act on it (draw a resolution from it that I will carry out that day). For more information on lectio divina, see forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=283559 .
So my Lenten plan is this:
*]Practice the “heroic minute” proposed by St. Josemaria Escriva: get up the minute my alarm clock rings, ditch the snooze button. This will give me the time needed for morning prayer. (OK, folks, I’m going to need accountability on this one. Feel free to ask me how it’s going about a week into Lent.)
*]Lectio divina every morning.
*]Take better care of my health: improve eating habits (my “fast” will be to ditch junk food and overeating), exercise, sleep schedule.
*]Be more attentive to my husband and to my household duties.
Wow - this is a fantastic plan - very specific - great example of how to do it.
This really caught my eye. Can you tell us more about the “heroic minute” concept?
There are three pocket-size books of Saint Josemaria Escriva’s short inspirational sayings: The Way, The Forge, and Furrow.
This one is from The Way, #206:
“The heroic minute. It’s time to get up, on the dot! Without hesitation, a supernatural thought and … up! The heroic minute; here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does not weaken your body.”
I’m gonna go vegeterian. No meat whatsoever.
Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood
I’m living without an alarm clock … not hard to do with an east window, despite the roman shade. Humorously, someone else’s in the house went off at 3 AM and she doesn’t know why. If you want to wake up in the middle of the night, drink a large glass of something before bed.
Well my fast will be soda…all soda of all kinds. Which I believe will be unbelievably difficult, but for me the more difficult the food/beverage fast is the better off I am spiritually. Oh yeah and just the fact that on Fridays I will be at work…at a BBQ joint surrounded by meat. Thank God for the pizza joint next door.
I’m also going to add reading. In addition to the fiction I read, I’m going to add some sort of religious reading every night. I should be good to go too because right now I have a book on St. Patrick, “Peace of Soul” by Fulton Sheen, “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis and I’ve really been meaning to dive into a couple different sections of the bible that I’ve been putting off.
My younger brother (he’s 15) will be giving up his iPod. Prayers, I believe, will be in order.