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When Lent arrives, it can be easy to focus on just deciding what you’ll give up as a sacrifice. Maybe you add something to your days instead or do a combination of the two.
But, are your choices ones that are helping you find meaning in the season of Lent?
10 Tips for Making Lent More Meaningful
This list was gifted to me from a fellow parishioner. She received it via email from Dominican priests. I’ve added more to the base list and hope it is helpful for you.
Tip #1: Slow Down
Our modern world throws so much at us. If you let it, you can be convinced that you need to do ALL the things leaving you no downtime.
Set aside 10 minutes each day for silent prayer or meditation. This short time will revitalize your body and spirit.
Tip #2: Read a Good Book
As much as I adore some good fiction to whisk me away from my troubles, I find that books that help me on my spiritual journey are key during Lent.
Need ideas? Read about the life of a Saint or maybe the writings of a church father. There are also many different devotionals that take just a few minutes a day to help you center and grow spiritually.
Tip #3: Be Kind
Remember the frenzy of life the world promotes? Well, if we listen to the secular world we can easily become self-centered and uncaring of others.
Use the season of Lent to be kind. Smiling at those you meet each day and offering a kind word is easy to do. But, going out of your way to do an act of kindness for another is golden.
Tip #4: Get Involved
Does your church have a Lenten mission? Or maybe a special Bible study you can join?
If so, make the time to grow in faith alongside your Church community.
Tip #5: Volunteer at Your Church
This is where involvement takes on a new level of meaning. And, I know from experience that the more I give of myself the more I get in the process.
My husband and boys are spending time helping at the Knights of Columbus fish fries on Fridays and the monthly breakfast. We may also be dedicating time on Monday and Saturday mornings at our Colorado parish’s food pantry.
Tip #6: Reach Out
Is there someone who isn’t attending church that you can invite to go with you?
Or, maybe ask them to a lecture or Bible study where they can make meaningful connections.
Another way to reach out is to find someone who is homebound and in need of company. This could be a neighbor or someone who is registered at your parish.
Tip #7: Pray
This seems obvious. But, many of us still do not fully embrace the idea of praying throughout the day.
A challenge for Lent is to pray for those people who you do not like or those who do not like you.
Tip #8: Tune Out
With screens surrounding us, it can be easy to get sucked into watching a show or hanging out on social media. You don’t need to do a complete fast for Lent. But, we can all make time to turn off those screens and have meaningful conversations with family or friends.
Tip #9: Clean Out Closets
Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up got many of us busy with decluttering our homes. The more we own, the more it owns us!
If you haven’t already done a massive purge, now is a great time to do so. Take those gently used items to a local charity that can use them. I like to remember women’s shelters when it comes to toiletries. My husband gets quite a collection of unopened hotel toiletries and once a year I try to bring them all to a local women’s shelter.
Tip #10: Donate
Donations come in all forms. Find a charity or mission that you can support by sending money, clothing or supplies.
40 Days of Seeking Him Sampler
If you have been reading the blog for a while, then you might recall that this link up started in 2011 as a daily one. I didn’t always participate in the link up but have made an effort to do it as often as possible. We switched to a weekly link up format which means at least one anchor post per week here.
I decided to pull together a ‘sampler’ as a free ebook to subscribers. If you are already a subscriber, just open up a recent weekly newsletter and click over to the appropriate “subscriber only” page.
If you are not currently a subscriber, you can get your copy when you sign up.