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- LENT FAQ
- MORE QUESTIONS ON LENT
- LENTEN SUGGESTIONS
- LENT LINKS
- *Moses stayed on the Mount Sinai forty days (Ex 24:18),
- Jonah gives the people of Ninevah forty days to repent (Jon 3:4) – (there are many other Old Testament stories)
- *Jesus, before starting his ministry, spent 40 days in the desert in prayer and fasting (Matt 4:2).
So, as in the Bible, we spend 40 days in preparing ourselves to rejoice at the Resurrection of our Lord at Easter.
What is Ash Wednesday all about?
- “I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes” (Dan 9:3)
- Other verses include: 1 Sam 4:12, Jon 3:6, Esther 4:1 and Matt 11:20-21
Today, ashes are still this same sign of repentance and mourning for our sins. They also represent our mortality. “I am nothing but dust and ashes” (Gen. 18:27). We started as nothing and our bodies will become dust and ashes after our death. Reminding ourselves that nobody escapes physical death, we look forward to eternal life.
- “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” (Matt 6: 16)
- “and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.” (Luke 2:37)
- Fasting also helps focus us in our prayer. *Yet when they were ill, I…humbled myself with fasting.” (Psalm 35:13)
Why abstain from meat?
- Wake up 20 minutes early and start the day in prayer.
- Daily Mass 1-2 times a week.
- An hr. in Adoration a week.
- Go to Confession.
- Read Scripture daily.
- Go to a Lenten Bible study.
- Read a spiritual book.
- Start to pray a daily Rosary.
- Pray the Liturgy of the hours.
- Pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet.
- Stations of the Cross on Fridays.
- Pray for your enemies.
- Watch The Passion of the Christ and then meditate on Christ’s life.
- Read about the life of a saint.
- Do an extra spiritual activity at Church
- Get involved in your parish if you aren’t already.
- Memorize Scripture verses.
- Check out a book on spirituality from the parish library.
- When you fast from a meal, give the money you would spend to the poor.
- Use a coin box from and put all change into it for the poor.
- Volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul or another charitable organization.
- Spend more time with your parents.
- Visit a nursing home.
- Start tithing.
- Make a pledge to a worthy charity.
- Forgive an old grudge.
- Invite someone to Church.
- Share your faith with someone.
- Give someone a Catholic tract or CD.
- Exercise patience and love.
- Speak in a pleasant tone to everyone.
- Look for extra ways to help others.
- Go out of your way to talk to someone who is shy or difficult.
- Offer to watch a mother’s child(ren).
- Drive with love.
- Write a letter to a relative you haven’t seen in a while.
- Fast on bread and water on Fridays.
- Fast from TV.
- Fast from snacking or candy.
- Fast from the radio in your car.
- Fast from Facebook, Twitter, and/or the internet. (NOTE: if you do decide to fast from Facebook, we have some free profile pictures you can use to show others what you are doing) – one example is the pic below, for more click here.
- Fast from caffeine.
- Do not use seasoning on your food.
- Fast from alcohol (You should not drink at anytime if you abuse alcohol or are not yet 21).
- Fast from speeding.
- Fast from sarcasm or gossip.
- Fast from envying what others have.
- Fast from being lazy or procrastination.
- Fast from not studying / working hard.
- Fast from complaining.
- Fast from some other bad habit.
- Pope Benedict’s Lent 2012 message.
- Pope Benedict’s Lent 2011 message.
- Pope Benedict’s Lent 2010 message.
- Pope Benedict’s Lent 2009 message.
- USCCB - Lent resources.
- Catholic Relief Services - Official Lenten giving program of CRS – Operation Rice Bowl.
- Way of the Cross with Pope Benedict XVI.
- The Vatican’s Lenten music.
- Pope Benedict’s Ash Wed. 2012 Address.
- Pope Benedict’s Ash Wed. 2011 Address.
- Pope Benedict’s Ash Wed. 2010 Address.
- Bishop Ricken Offers 10 Things to Remember for Lent.
- EWTN.com - Lenten reflections, questions, and more.
- AmericanCatholic.org - Lent pages
- Creighton University - Lenten prayers.
- Catholic Encyclopedia - entry on Lent
- Catholic Culture - Personal Lenten program.
- Our Sunday Visitor - Lenten resources.
- Catholic Online - Lenten resources.
- Jimmy Akin - all about Lent.
- EWTN’s Stations of the cross.
- Jimmy Akin’s Annual Lent Fight - good stuff if you like details.
- “Great Lent” by Thomas Howard.
- “Lent: Why that Christian Must Deny Himself” by Br. Austin G. Murphy, O.S.B.
- Lent and the “Our Father”: The Path of Prayer by Carl E. Olson.
- Byzantine Catholic - Lenten resources for Byzantine Catholics.
- Suggestions for Lenten Activities.
- DomesticChurch.com - exploring Lent.
- Catholic Pages - Lenten links.
- National Catholic Register - Fasting for lent.
- 40 Ways to improve your Lent.
- Fasting from Suspicion, Idolization, and Demonization.
- North American College - the Station Churches of Rome for Lent.
- Aquinas and More Catholic Goods - Lent store.
- Lent and the Corporal Works of Mercy.
- Fr. Jerabek offers a Lenten reading plan.
- Thomas Peters recommends “The Gargoyle Code” for Lenten Reading.
- Pray the Spiritual Exercises during Lent.
- 40 Lenten Resolutions by Sherry Antonetti.
- Catholic Mom Lenten resources.
- Faith & Family lent blogs.
- Jen Fulwiler’s recommended Lenten reading.
- Free online books to read for Lent.
- Jimmy has all the Church laws on eating during Lent (or not eating).
- The Anchoress tells us about Lent.
- Don’t Waste Lent.
- Give Up TV for Lent.
- Deacon Greg’s Ash Wed. Homily 2010
- The Day After Fat Tuesday
- Matt Warner - And To Dust You Shall Return.
- Fr. Dwight’s homily gets a boy to Spend Lent In a Tent.
- How Real Are Your Ashes?
- The Instinct of Repentance.
- A Brief History of Lent.
- Penance and Reparation.
- The Pope says Lent is a time of silence.
- The Pope is once again drawing attention to those who are hungry and poor throughout the world for our reflection during Lent 2010.
- Cardinal Rigali gave a series of reflections on Lent in 2007 starting with this video.
- 3 Minutes a Day Retreat from Loyola Press.
- Get a free booklet and CD on the Stations of the Cross Meditations. Patrick Madrid has details.
- Videos – “Lent is a Catholic thing” and “What are Catholics Doing for Lent“
- iPadre Lenten podcasts.
- Catholic.net Lent podcasts.
Pope’s Ash Wed Message 2012:
Fr. Barron on Lent:
Archbishop Chaput on Lent:
Archbishop Gomez on Ash Wed and Lent:
Apostleship of Prayer on Lent:
Ash Wed and Lent in 2 minutes:
Listen and Pray along – Allegri: Miserere:
The goofiest Lenten video ever is by Nick Alexander (done to the song “King of Pain” by The Police) – This Time of Forty Days:
Please help me find more by putting links in the comments. Thanks.
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