A Quick Guide to a More Meaningful and Powerful Lenten Season
- Fasting and Abstinence: See Chart to the right.
- Prayer Suggestions:
- Litany of Humility
- Mental Prayer
- Recommended Books on Prayer:
- Into the Deep – Finding Peace Through Prayer – Dan Burke: This book is for those seeking to begin or begin again in their practice of mental prayer.
- Finding God through Meditation – St. Peter of Alcántara: This book is for those who already practice mental prayer. It has powerful meditations on the Passion.
- Almsgiving: Where can I increase the giving of my time, talent, and treasure – particularly to the materially or spiritually poor?
Embrace and Maintain after Lent: What are the things we might embrace during Lent in order to become more holy and thus we would keep these practices even after Lent? Here are some questions to consider:
- What foundational spiritual acts of love toward God that have I yet to implement? Do I fast or abstain every Friday during the year? Do I go to Mass as often as I can? Do I go to confession at least monthly? Do I practice mental prayer daily?
- What foundational acts of love have I yet to know as a virtue? We know that when our spiritual disciplines are easy and we practice them only with rare lapses that they have developed into a virtue. Are there acts of love toward God and others that I could practice in a more deliberate, disciplined, and consistent way?
- Do I practice habitual sins that I could work on, with greater discipline, in order to overcome them during Lent?
Common Reasons for Failure in Lent:
- Expectations and reality: You will struggle – expect it and you won’t be as frustrated when you do.
- Lack of firm commitments: When you struggle, don’t give up – get up and work on it again.
- Lack of clear commitments: Our Lenten commitments should be clear. That means that if we succeed or fail we know it and thus there is no ambiguity.
- Lack of accountability and Community: Those with accountability partners to pray and encourage them will be far more successful than those who work on these disciplines alone. We should also take our failures to confession for forgiveness and strength to continue to fight.
The excellent infographic was developed by Fellowship of Catholic University Students