Prayer ▪ Fasting ▪ Almsgiving
This year, Lent begins on March 6, and continues until Easter Sunday on April 21.
Ash Wednesday: March 6, 2019
Holy Thursday: April 18, 2019
Good Friday: April 19, 2019
Easter: April 21, 2019
Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
As disciples of Christ, we are called during Lent to dedicate ourselves to prayer and scripture, service (also called alms-giving), and sacrifice in the form of self-examination and fasting. Traditionally, Lent is thought of as a period where we give up our favorite food or sweets and refrain from eating meat on Fridays, but Lent is so much more. As the USCCB website states “The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal. We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ. We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ's death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.”
This Lent, let us all strive to grow deeper and closer to Christ, so we can follow Him with greater purpose, courage and confidence. We have everything to gain, and nothing to lose. Below are resources to help make your Lent fruitful and full of blessings.
Start Lent Off Right
- Confession: By going to Confession, we start Lent off on the right footing - especially if it’s been a while. For example, you wouldn’t go jogging with a pebble in your shoe, right? After a while it would start to hurt, becoming a distraction from your workout. The same goes with sin. It makes it harder for us to connect with our Lord and receive the fullness of His grace.
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- Prayerful Consideration: Deciding on what you’re going to do for Lent is not always easy. Many times, Lent has already begun before a final decision has been made. Make sure to spend time in prayer prior to the start of Lent asking the Lord for guidance. Traditionally, we give something up but maybe this Lent the question is “What should be added?” Perhaps, the answer is more prayer time, daily Rosary, daily Mass, charitable works, Stations of the Cross, Catholic books, Catholic podcasts, etc. Either way, the best way to know is by spending time in prayer.
- Action Plan: Now that you have decided on what you’re giving up (or adding) it’s time to put it into action. For many, life is a constant shuffle from one place to another. This can make following through difficult. If you gave something up, make sure it’s realistic and that you stick with it. And if you find it difficult, that’s good. It is supposed to be. That's the self-denial part. If you added something, make sure to carve out time in your schedule and make it a “holy” time. This may be at the start of your day or the end of your day. Either way, these gestures of voluntary self-denial can bear much fruit in your walk with the Lord. May you have a blessed Lent.