60 Last-Minute Ideas for Lent

Ready or not, here it comes. Lent – a season for Christians that often brings thoughts of (sometimes unwilling) sacrifice. Let me guess: every year you think you should give up something that will be A) difficult, B) life-changing, and C) creative, yet often think about how difficult the rest of the season is going to be.

Lent is one of my favorite liturgical seasons. I used to think that Lent was just a really sad time where we have to say “no” to everything. It was just a time of sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice. I’ve come to realize that it’s a lot more than that – it’s an opportunity to say “yes” to the will of God and the love of Christ. 

Lent is about stretching ourselves. It’s about doing something that’s uncomfortable in order to deny our flesh and make more room for God. 

I’ve compiled a list of last-minute ideas to sacrifice from and add to your life.  I hope it helps and I hope it blesses your Lent this year.

 

Sacrifice

  1. Your bed
  2. Don’t take the best spot available in the parking lot
  3. Your car radio
  4. Wear the first outfit you put on every morning
  5. Hot showers
  6. Being late
  7. Escalators and elevators
  8. Snooze button on your alarm clock
  9. Online shopping
  10. Snacking between meals
  11. Complaining
  12. Being selfish. Give away something every single day, be it time, money, or something you own
  13. Greed. Don’t buy anything besides the essentials
  14. Laziness. Give up TV and commit to going on a walk every day.
  15. Gossip
  16. If you’re judgmental, pray for every person you see
  17. If you’re vain, give up make up or your mirror
  18. Using the word “can’t.”
  19. Eating meat and/or animal products
  20. Television
  21. Telling yourself you’re fat and stupid. And anything less than the truth that you’re amazing and loved.
  22. Hiding your faith from those around you. It’s Lent. Share what God is doing in your life these 40 days
  23. Addictions (alcohol, smoking, porn, masturbation, caffeine…)
  24. Social media
  25. Road rage
  26. Fasting (only one full meal a day)
  27. No takeout or delivery
  28. Shoes
  29. Staying up late. Give yourself a bed time.
  30. Sleeping in. Set an alarm.

 

 

Sustain

Replace the time you’d be doing the above with…

  1. Daily mass
  2. A chapter of the Bible a day. You can get through all 4 Gospels if you read 2 chapters a day.
  3. 10 minutes of meditation a day
  4. Join a Bible study at your parish
  5. The Rosary–a decade or even a whole Rosary each day
  6. Stop by an adoration chapel on your way home each day
  7. Go to confession–every week, every other week, for the first time in 30 years….
  8. Pray the Stations of the Cross
  9. Get up early to pray
  10. List 5 things you’re grateful for every day
  11. Journal
  12. Be intentional about your time–make a schedule and stick to it
  13. Go to an art museum or a botanical gardens once a week and just rejoice in beauty
  14. Pick a virtue to strive for each day
  15. Say 3 nice things about yourself every day
  16. Listen to Catholic Answers while you drive
  17. Donate the money you would have spent on whatever you’re fasting from
  18. Spend the time you would have spent watching TV with your family
  19. Visit a nursing home
  20. Save up all your change (and maybe even your singles) and give them to charity
  21. Write letters to your grandparents
  22. Call your mother
  23. Volunteer once a week–soup kitchen, shoveling snow, the nursery at church, whatever!
  24. Give someone a compliment every day
  25. Take someone to lunch every week–a lonely coworker, a neighbor you don’t always love, one of your children
  26. Perform an act of charity every day–do the dishes when it’s not your turn, pick up litter
  27. Take something on — 40 days of letter writing, 40 acts of kindness, 40 phone calls to the important people in your life
  28. Get some friends together and attend a Friday fish fry at a local parish
  29. Do a 40-day purge of all your excess stuff and donate the best of it to Goodwill or a local thrift store that benefits the needy in your community
  30. If you are giving up social networking (like Facebook and Twitter), commit the next 40 days to getting to know your friends better in person 

In his annual Lenten message, the pope writes,

“Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.”

Perhaps when we fast from this indifference, we can began to feast on love. In fact, Lent is the perfect time to learn how to love again. Jesus—the great protagonist of this holy season—certainly showed us the way. 

“What are you giving up for Lent?” It’s a question a lot of people will get these next few days. If you want to change your body, perhaps alcohol and candy is the way to go. If you want to change your mind, perhaps more discipline. But if you want to change your heart, a harder fast is needed.

It will make room in ourselves to experience a love that can make us whole and set us free.

Now that’s something worth fasting for.

Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

Read more

Subscribe

Categories

random posts

February 1, 2014

philanthropy 2014

January 19, 2015

music monday: january 19th

flickr

Archives

currently reading

1984