February 27, 2014

My 2014 Lenten Journey...

Look at His adorable face.
Look at His glazed and sunken eyes.
Look at His wounds.
Look Jesus in the Face.
There, you will see how He loves us.

  -St. Therese of Lisieux
:: Prayer ::

 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God" 
-St. John Damascene

There are many forms of prayer, both interior and exterior. I try to do these things throughout the year but in the Lenten season I try to make an even greater effort.
  • Go to Daily Mass (Which I already do in the rest of the year)
  • Frequent the Sacrament of Confession. A very wise and holy priest once told me if one goes to daily Mass then they should go to Confession every two weeks. If one only goes to Sunday Mass, then once a month will suffice.
  • Attend the Stations of the Cross on Fridays.
  • Go to weekly Adoration. 
  • Adopt a priest. They rely on our prayers. 
  • Another form of prayer that enriches ones spiritual life in the recitation of the Divine Office. I get to morning Mass early and do it then. And then finish the day with vespers and compline (evening & night prayer).
During Lent (and throughout the year) we need spiritual enlightenment. We can find this through spiritual reading. Maria Von Trapp suggests three categories for a Lenten reading program:
  1. Something for the mind. We should do some research, study the papal encyclicals, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, delve into Church history, study Catholic philosophy.
  2. Something for the soul. This should be deeper spiritual reading that gives a program, guidance, and spiritual direction, including writings of the saints like St. Teresa of Avila, St. Thérèse of Lisieux or St. Francis de Sales.
  3. Something for the heart. We need inspiration. The best way is to read biographies of Christ, Mary, saints or people who put their spiritual life into action. Bishop Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ is excellent Lenten reading. 
Here is what I will be reading using Maria Von Trapp's guide:
  1. Lumen Fidei by Pope Francis
  2. The Sanctifier by Archbishop Luis M. Martinez
  3. Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way by Bl. Pope John Paul II
:: Fasting and Abstaining ::
We must fulfill the minimum requirements of the Church for fasting and abstinence. But there are other forms of abstaining and fasting.
  • Instead of listening to secular music, listen to some lenten themed music or some Christian songs that draw you into the desert with our Lord. Here are some suggestions on songs: 
  1. O Sacred Head Surrounded
  2. Via Dolorosa - Sandi Patty
  3. Stabat Mater
  4. The Glory of These Forty Days
  5. Attende Domine
  6. Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days
  • Or listen to some homilies that are online. Here is a wonderful site of sermons: Audio Sancto.
  • In replace of TV or movies choose a religious movie such as:
  1. The Passion
  2. For Greater Glory
  3. or any saint movie

 In fasting, we are also practicing Self-Denial. This is the area that tests our will-power.

:: Almsgiving and Good Works ::

Almsgiving is often associated with donating money. But it is also giving of your time and talents to others. 
  • Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center, homeless center, nursing home. 
  • Stand once a week during the 40 days for life
  • You could also look into volunteering at your parish or Newman center.
  • Save the money that you would spend on your daily coffee, or app and music purchases and at the end of Lent give that money to either the Church, religious organization or turn it into gift cards and the hand them out to the homeless.

"God gives the growth." 
(1 Cor. 3:7)

Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can so this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and enriched us by his poverty. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.
-Pope Francis Lenten 2014 message


  1. thanks for posting, girl! just curious, do you wear mantilla's to mass?

  2. Great plans! Can't wait for Lent. :) God bless!

  3. Lovely post; such great goals and ideas!

  4. These are some beautiful ideas, Grace. God bless! ♥

  5. Great ideas! I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I'm going to do for Lent, but you've given me some ideas. :) Thanks!