Pastor’s keyboard: It is not too late to give something up for Lent! If you are struggling to find something, please look at the list below for some great ideas.
Ideas for Penance or Prayer During Lent:
- If you struggle with sloth: Only watch tv shows on Sundays
- If you struggle with isolation: Cold shower twice a week
- If you struggle with anger: 40 acts of kindness, one each day.
- If you struggle with sloth or pornography: Fast from internet after dinner or keep your phone away from your bed, on another outlet.
- If you struggle with bedtimes or sleeping in: Do the heroic minute” — which is, as soon as your alarm goes off, you get on your knees and thank God for the new day. NO snooze button allowed.
- If you struggle with distraction during mass: Make a point to read the scriptures the day before you go to mass
- If you struggle with spending money and budgeting: Do you buy too many clothes? Spend too much on dinner out? Pick one type of expenditure that you’ll “fast” from during Lent, and then give the money you would usually spend to a local charity.
- If you struggle with isolation: Talk to a close friend or family from back home twice a week
- Try a new spiritual practice– daily mass, rosary, adoration, spiritual reading, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, 10 minutes of silent prayer, spiritual direction, etc.
- If you haven’t gone in a while: Go back to confession!
- Social media: only use it on Sundays– or not at all!
- Begin each morning on your knees, in prayer. When you go to bed, do the same.
- No internet browsing, unless it’s for school or work. Or, set a timer and limit it to 10 minutes a day.
- 40 Days of Silence: No media, podcasts, music
- 30 minutes daily reading and praying with scripture (Lectio Divina)
- No caffeine
- Give yourself a set bedtime– and STICK to it!
- No radio in the car
- Don’t eat what you want (e.g. if you want waffles for breakfast, make eggs instead. Instead of drinking orange juice, drink water)
- Give something away every day (clothing, money, etc.)
- Read through a gospel/the gospels (pick a few lines or chapter each day, and stick with it)
- Abstain from complaining (and examine your conscience every night to check yourself on this)
- Abstain from interrupting or interjecting others (and examine your conscience every night to check yourself on this)
- Fast every day like it’s Ash Wednesday (no meat; one normal meal, and two small meals that don’t equal the normal meal)
- No sweets– but offer up the sacrifice for a person every day
- No using the elevator, if you use it a lot
- Abstain from eating in between meals
- Abstain from video games
- Do an intense exercise
- Abstain from gossip (and examine your conscience every night to check yourself on this)
- Give up your pillow
- Give up alcohol
- Give up checking your phone if you’re with other people
- Give up cream and sugar in your coffee
- Give up secular reading
- Listen only to music that lifts the soul up to God.