If you’re like me, Lent completely snuck up on you this year.
Yes, we’ve been hinting at it in the readings for the past couple weeks, and I had it circled in my calendar, but still — this Sunday’s announcement of Ash Wednesday Mass times at our local parish completely hit me out of nowhere. Something about the shortness of February and the epic cold weather we’re still suffering in Nebraska made it seem impossible that Lent could already be here.
I immediately panicked: oh shoot, what am I gonna do for Lent? Immediately I started sweating, panicky, and realized: my brain is broken. I can’t come up with ANYTHING. I can’t even think of words that relate to Lent, let alone a good couple things to give up and take up during these 40 days of penance.
I’m here to help you out. (Whew! Breathe a sigh of relief now, and maybe go put on more deodorant. Friendly advice.) I’ve collected a list of the blogosphere’s best resources for Lenten sacrifices for your perusal. Click through, weigh your options, and give some love to these bloggers for having great, foreward-thinking posting.
Kendra at Catholic All Year came up with a fantastic, easy-to-read list of ideas for your Lenten sacrifices. And handily enough, you can decide a level for each sacrifice, or even come up with a sort of schedule to increase your difficulty as the season progresses. (You get level-up points if you do it that way, I’m told.)
FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students, aka Caitlin’s employer) has a great solution to your Lenten worries: an app designed specifically for Lent! Called “Lentsanity,” it’s got daily reflections, meat-free recipe ideas, and you can even set reminders before meals on days of fasting and abstinence so you have no excuse to miss out! Go to your fancy marketplace on your smartphone and download it for free, or click to the link above and navigate to “Lentsanity App.”
LifeTeen’s got a great list of easy-to-implement but definitely grace-inducing ideas for Lenten sacrifices. Each one on their list is guaranteed to make you step back every day and rethink your daily living, refocusing it on Christ.
I read this post last year right before Lent and it’s just as relevant today. The author’s gathered 100 ideas to pick from for sacrifices during Lent — with 100 things to choose from, how can you not find one that fits your spiritual needs?
This one is a double-whammy, and I’ve included both of them because they’re motivating me for my own Lenten sacrifices (more on that later). Steph at Little Bit of Paradise has a great (and challenging!) promise for Lent: to exercise once every day for the entire 40 days. Sounds tiring, doesn’t it? Her reasons are beautiful and good and heartening for those of us maybe joining her. And Susan at Sole Searching Mamma makes the same case for recognizing the care of our bodies as a sacrifice for some — one with infinite benefits. Give them both a read!
If you’re Catholic, or happen to have a lot of Catholic friends on Facebook, perhaps you’ve seen these all before — if not, enjoy the list. As for me, I’ll be reading the Gospel of Luke (thanks to Caitlin’s recommendation), working out every day with my husband as our joint sacrifice (which will be harder to do this year seeing as I’m 28 weeks pregnant!), spending 15 minutes of quiet time a day in prayer with Our Lord, and giving up pop. I usually tack on a couple more sacrifices for Holy Week in order to prepare myself for Easter, so I may be back with a follow-up post for that later…if you’re lucky.
Happy Fat Tuesday, and a prayerful Lent to all of you!