When most people think of Lent they think about what they’re going to be giving up – sodas, cupcakes, beer. And while that’s definitely one important part of Lent, often people are surprised to hear that Lent actually requires 3 tasks of you - Fasting, Prayer, and Almsgiving. I know, giving up cupcakes just isn’t enough!
Take it or leave it, but I like to think of Lent as a Master Cleanse. We’ve been indulging in material items, maybe even straying away from Church, and our focuses aren’t truly aligned with what God has planned for us. So we engage in Lent to cleanse ourselves of attachment to material goods, to reenact Jesus’s trials thereby growing closer to Him, and also to shift our focus to others – fulfilling their needs before our wants. In truth, setting yourself to perform all 3 tasks rejuvenates your soul and helps prepare you for the Pascal Miracle. Like I said, a Master Cleanse :)
While we’re already 12 days into Lent, it’s not too late to ask yourself you are committed to all 3 tasks. It’s never too late to start. Below are some little ideas for each part of Lent if you’re need of some inspiration.
Strive to give a little bit of yourself to another – either through donations, time, or even a friendly conversation
Buy a stranger lunch
Volunteer at a local food bank
Start a coin collection and donate it at the end of Lent
Write a letter to the troops
Strive to improve the times in which you say thank you to God for all that He’s blessed you with
Say grace before each meal
Pray in the mornings to set your intention for the day
For each car accident say a prayer for those affected instead of being upset by the traffic
Pray for 3 other people beside yourself
Strive to ride yourself of unnecessary habits and attachments that may unknowingly have hold of you
Give up ‘snoozing’ – starting each day with purpose
An hour a day without your phone – instead be alone with God or your family or friends
Grudges – intentionally forgive those who’ve hurt you and who will upset you without any fuss
Hope your Lenten season is going great! Feel free to comment with any ideas of your own or advice.