Lent is a significant period in the Catholic liturgical calendar, representing a time of reflection, repentance, and spiritual renewal leading up to Easter. During Lent, Catholics engage in various practices such as prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as a way to deepen their relationship with God and prepare themselves to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One common practice during Lent is making a Lenten sacrifice. The Lenten sacrifice is a personal commitment that varies from individual to individual. Some may voluntarily giving up something meaningful or enjoyable and others may take up a spiritual practice as a form of penance and spiritual discipline. The sacrifice is intended to mirror Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert, serves as a reminder of his sacrifice for humanity and can also serve as a means of solidarity with the poor and suffering.
Of course, you can always choose to give up some screen time, sweets, alcohol, entertainment or your favourite food. Not sure what to give up? Looking for something different to take on as a Lenten Sacrifice? Here’s a few ideas:
Get closer to Jesus in the Eucharist. Consider going to one of the daily Masses each week or stopping by the Adoration Chapel for a few minutes on the way to or from work each day.
Get closer to Jesus in the scriptures. Consider joining the new Bible Reflection Group, going through one of the Bible Study programs on Formed.org or use the Living with Christ website in your daily prayer to reflect on the readings of the day.
Get closer to Jesus through forgiveness. Consider praying daily for someone who has hurt you or let you down or consider pausing at the end of each day for a minute or two to identify moments when you may not have lived up to the Good News and ask for strength to be more like Jesus the following day.
Get closer to Jesus in prayer. If forming a habit of prayer is difficult, consider setting an alarm on your phone as a reminder to pray. Consider taking up an additional spiritual practice like praying the Rosary or coming to the Church on Friday evenings in Lent to join in the Stations of the Cross.
Get closer to Jesus through service. Consider coming to the church at 1pm on Tuesdays to help sort food for the Food Bank. Consider giving up your morning coffee or going out for a meal and give that money instead to a charity.
Get closer to Jesus by getting to know him. Consider using one of the study programs from Formed.org, or reading a book on Catholic living or or the Catholic Faith. Maybe commit to pausing once each week to watch a movie from Formed.org.
One last thing…
Make sure your Lenten Sacrifice is more than a ritual but an opportunity for real growth. Sometime shortly before Lent take a few minutes to reflect and pray. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance; God will know best what sacrifices or observances will draw you closer to him, the source of life and love!
I wish you a happy and fruitful Lent!