Lent: A Survival Guide
Like any resolution, sometimes our Lenten practices don’t last long. It helps if we surround our best intentions with practices and support to get us past the first week of Lent and beyond.
Lent is a time for focusing on what matters most. We give up our distractions and take on new practices to live the Christian life more faithfully. Lent provides us with an opportunity to make a new start each year. But will you take advantage of it?
First of all, we can lay out a plan for the full six weeks and look at it at the beginning of each week. What will you read for your prayer time each week? You can check in on your penance and how you’re doing and see if you need to make adjustments. You should see progress as you move from one week to another.
Second, you need the support of others. Consider setting up a small group to meet once a week during your Lenten practices. You can read Scripture or a spiritual book together and discuss. In addition, you can ask someone to help keep you accountable, and you can do the same for them. In Exodus 90, we call the group your fraternity and your accountability partner your anchor. Both help greatly in staying faithful to resolutions and to make growth.
Third, whatever you choose to do for Lent, it will come alive and make a bigger impact through a routine of daily prayer. Consider making a schedule for your daily prayer. It’s often easiest to pray right away in the morning. Daily Mass is another great Lenten practice that will keep you focused.
Finally, pray that the Lord guides you this Lent, and entrust the forty days to him. The whole purpose of Lent is to come into a deeper relationship with him. Even by taking up penances and building community, we cannot grow in holiness without encountering the Lord in prayer. He is the one who can make our Lent a true success.
Looking for a good way to journey through this Lent as a man in Christ? Our 2023 Lenten spiritual exercise starts February 22 (Ash Wednesday). Get prepared here.
Dr. Staudt holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Ave Maria University and B.A. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). He serves as Director of Content for Exodus and as Visiting Associate Professor at the Augustine Institute in Denver. He was previously the Associate Superintendent for the Archdiocese of Denver. He has founded a Catholic school and served as a DRE in two parishes and as Director of Catholic Studies at the University of Mary. He is the author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization (TAN), Restoring Humanity: Essays on the Evangelization of Culture (Divine Providence Press) and The Beer Option: Brewing a Catholic Culture Yesterday & Today (Angelico Press). His editing experience includes six years as the managing editor of the journal Nova et Vetera and the books Renewing Catholic Schools: How to Regain a Catholic Vision in a Secular Age (Catholic Education Press) and The University and the Church: Don J. Briel’s Essays on Education (Cluny Media).
Like any resolution, sometimes our Lenten practices don’t last long. It helps if we surround our best intentions with practices and support to get us past the first week of Lent and beyond.Read More
Lent: A Survival Guide
Lent is a time of prayer and, therefore, a time of listening. It might be tempting to get frustrated with just sitting there in prayer and not hearing anything. We call Jesus the Word, however, and he speaks. The difficulty is learning how to listen to his voice. The Word spoke to us using words in Scripture, although he speaks now without words, in the still silence.Read More
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