Tips for Making a Good Lent
Lent begins this Wednesday! In order to help you prepare, here are seven tips for making a good Lent, excerpted and adapted from an article by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV.
1. Prayer: Instead of being Martha this Lent, why not try to imitate Mary of Bethany? What did Mary do, as Martha nervously and frenetically rushed to and fro? Mary simply sat at the feet of Jesus, looked at Jesus intently, listened attentively to His words, carried on a friendly and loving conversation, and simply loved Jesus. In Lent why not make the proposal—in imitation of Mary of Bethany—to pray a little bit more and better! Prayer delights the Heart of Jesus!
2. Reconciliation and Peace: If it is such that there is some person in your life that you have bitterness towards, resentment, maybe even hatred, then Lent is a most propitious time to reconcile. Build a bridge and knock down the barrier!
3. Penance and Fasting: Jesus said unequivocally: “Unless you do penance you will perish.” Give up something you like for love of God and for the salvation of souls. By saying “No” to self, we say “yes” to the invasion of God in our hearts! Beg the Holy Spirit for light to give up what is most pleasing to God!
4. The Bible, The Word of God: In the holy seasons of Advent and Lent the Church warmly exhorts us to have a real hunger for the Word of God. Jesus in response to the first temptation of the devil responded: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” May this Lenten season be motivated by a daily meditation of the Word of God! Use a prayer method suggested by Pope Benedict XVI called Lectio Divina: read, meditate, contemplate, pray, and action—put into practice the good insights you have received.
5. Almsgiving: Lent is a time to give, especially to the poor, sick, marginalized and the rejected of society. “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do to me.”
6. Daily Mass and Communion: By far the best way we could possibly live out the Holy Season of Lent is by drawing close to Jesus as possible. In Holy Mass and Holy Communion, not only do we draw close to Jesus, but we actually receive Him into the very depths of our being, our inner sanctuary which is our soul. However, go to Mass and Holy Communion with intentions, especially to repair for sin and prevent sin. Offer your Mass and Holy Communion in reparation for your past sins as well as in reparation for the sins of your family.
7. Mary and Lent: Try to live a strongly Marian Lent. Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary as well as the Rosary dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. View the movie of Mel Gibson, “The Passion of the Christ” where Mary’s role is significant. Make the Way of the Cross, walking with Our Lady of Sorrows. Strive in Lent to live these holy days through the eyes of Mary and with the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In conclusion, my friends, if we can choose to live out these proposals with generosity of spirit, this will be the most holy of all our Lents. We will be able to live out the fullness of the Paschal Mystery—to suffer and die with Jesus so that we will rise with Him in the glory of the Resurrection!