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Preparing for Lent in the Catholic Home

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It is that time of year, where we prepare for the very holy season of Lent in our Catholic home. We had a great discussion over on Instagram regarding preparations.

And I’m sharing some of the ideas others have shared. As well as what we do in our little domestic church.

Related: Bible Reading Journal

statue of the Pieta

Preparing for Lent

Before we get into the details of getting prepared for the Lenten season, let’s go over a brief explanation of what Lent is and why it is important for a Catholic.

Lent (the word “Lent” comes from the Old English “lencten,” meaning “springtime) lasts from Ash Wednesday to the Vespers of Holy Saturday — forty days, never minding the six Sundays which don’t count as “Lent” liturgically.

The Latin name for Lent, Quadragesima, means forty and refers to the forty days Christ spent in the desert which is the origin of the Season. The last two weeks of Lent are known as “Passiontide,” made up of Passion Week and Holy Week.

The last three days of Holy Week — Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday — are known as the “Sacred Triduum.”

The focus of this Season is the Cross and penance, penance, penance as we imitate Christ’s forty days of fasting, like Moses and Elias before Him, and await the triumph of Easter.

We fast, abstain, mortify the flesh, give alms, and think more of charitable works. Awakening each morning with the thought, “How might I make amends for my sins?

How can I serve God in a reparative way? How can I serve others today?” is the attitude to have. 

This text is taken from Fisheaters.
image of the crucifixion mediation for preparation for lent

Preparation for the Lenten Season

I would definitely advise that you check in with your spiritual director for advice prior to Lent. These are good conversation starters to gain his input. 

But ultimately, the plan you follow should be determined between you and the guidance of a someone who understands what is best for your soul.

Three things to consider when preparing for Lent… keep it focused on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

And also things we can do to be more intentional and focused on improving our spiritual life. 

Real fasting is not merely an abstinence from meats, but from sins too. 

St John Chrysostom

What are some things we can do to truly follow our vocation in life? What small sacrifices can help us to follow God’s Will and bring us closer to Him?

Related: A Mother’s Rule of Life

spiritual reading during Lent

There are so many things that we can sacrifice during the lenten season, things to give up, things to practice, things to avoid, etc.

I’m sharing just a few ideas to help you come up with your plans for lent. If you’re struggling, you may want to seek the help of your priest/spiritual director.

Here are a few ideas on things to give up for lent:

  • Social media & useless scrolling
  • TV 
  • Radio
  • Checking phone often
  • Other electronics
  • Texting
  • Any other distractions
  • Chocolate 
  • Sweets
  • Coffee 
  • Fast Food / going out to eat
  • Bread / pasta / bad carbs
  • Meat

Here are a few ideas of habits to conquer:

  • Any bad habits that you need to overcome
  • Shopping for things that aren’t a need
  • Bad speech
  • Clutter
  • Don’t hit snooze on alarm 
  • Stop complaining
  • Sloth in daily duties

And a few ideas for practices to take up:

  • Pray the Stations of the Cross every Friday 
  • Attend daily mass & receive Holy Communion as often as possible
  • Practice the presence of God
  • Make short aspirational prayers throughout the day
  • Daily morning meditation for at least 10-15 minutes 
  • Spiritual reading – daily
  • Pray the Mother of Sorrows devotions on Saturdays 
  • Wake up early and spend quiet time in prayer & reflection
  • Volunteer
  • Donations within your means – clothing, money, food, etc
  • Write notes of gratitude each day for others

What are some ways that you work on preparing for Lent in your Domestic Church?

Favorite Lent Books

The Seven Last Words – Sheen

The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Meditation on the Passion

A Doctor at Calvary

More Lent Posts:

Lent Bible Reading Plan

Meatless Meal Ideas for Lent

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