The foundation of spiritual practices for Lent is prayer. Without prayer, no other spiritual practices has any real effects. With prayer real transformation happens. Last year we launched the 1% Challenge. That is spending at least 1% of our day in prayer—that’s about 15 min. The reason why we pray is to direct everything—our day, our life—to God. If this Lent you take the 1% Challenge, it will Change 100% of your Life. See Prayer Resources below
The second lenten practice fasting opens your heart in prayer. Many people want to pray but it is hard to change the habits of life. Often events such as a tragedy open one’s heart to pray. Fasting is another way to open your heart. The tinges of hunger from fasting are enough to deepen your dependence on God. The way to fast is enough to keep you hungry—hungry for God. For some, simply cutting out snacking will be enough. However, the general guidelines for fasting include:
- one full meatless meal per day may be eaten.
- two other meatless meals may be taken to maintain strength, but together they should not equal a full meal.
- liquids, including milk and fruit juice, may be taken between meals.
- if health or ability to work are affected, fasting does not oblige.
We as a Catholic Community will fast on Ash Wednesday. Many will continue the practice on Fridays of Lent. Those Catholics bound to fast are aged 18-59. All Catholics above the age of 14 are bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays. We abstain from a meat, a common dish for feasting, rather to think of the passion of the cross of Jesus.
Parents are to see to it that children who are not bound by the laws of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance, conversion and reconciliation The 40 days of Lent—that does not include Sundays—are our fasting days. The Church strongly recommends that we have fasting practices on all weekdays of Lent so that we stay hungry, and in that hunger, turn not to snacks, but turn to God. “Stay hungry for God my friends.”
Almsgiving (including CRS Rice Bowls)
The third Lenten practice almsgiving is best defined as works of mercy; it is working out faith in love. It might also be called mercying. But what every we call it, you can do it. You can put your faith into loving action by picking up a Rice Bowl provided by Catholic Relief Service, available outside the Catholic Community offices on the third floor of Old Union. You are invited to hear stories about our brothers and sisters in need around the world, and devote your Lenten prayers, fasting, and almsgiving to change the lives of those who suffer in poverty. Along with the rice bowl, CRS provides a calendar and mobile app loaded with daily reflections and activities that will assist you on your journey. We hope you will join us in standing in solidarity with people around the world. Learn more at www.crsricebowl.org
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Lent Resources - IgnatianSpirituality.com
Lent is a season of repentance and renewal. Find Lent resources in the tradition of Ignatian spirituality, including multiple options for daily reflections and an online Lent retreat.
The "From Ashes to Glory" Lenten resources in particular contain an excellent series of reflections by Father Joseph Tetlow, SJ, a well-known speaker and writer.