Still Trying to Decide on a Lenten Fast? Ask This One Question
Lent begins tomorrow! Which means that, for the next six weeks or so, this newsletter will transform into our annual Lenten retreat. Every Sunday evening (starting Sunday, March 6), we’ll explore another way to live out this season at work. As a newsletter subscriber, you’re already registered for the retreat, but if you’re interested in sharing it with a friend, please use the link here:
I always feel the same mix of fear and excitement when it gets to Fat Tuesday – can I really do this? Am I really about to jump into something new, to shift away from some really comfortable habits into something that will undoubtedly push me and challenge me? Are these commitments going to bring me closer to Christ?
Here are just three thoughts as we enter into Lent:
- It’s okay to shift your practices. Last year, I gave up social media which was surprisingly easy during that season of my life (and honestly a relief). After a week or so, I took on another practice because I wanted to feel a bit more stretched. Take your practices to Jesus every day in prayer, and let Him move you heart and direct you.
- Relationship is the goal. Lent is a time of growing in relationship with Jesus. If you’re taking on practices that are “hard” but don’t actually bring you closer to Christ, then it might be a good idea to reevaluate. Yes, dropping YouTube could be a great idea, but if you’re filling that time with scrolling on Twitter instead of making more time for prayer or mass, then it’s not accomplishing the goal, which is a deepened relationship with Jesus. Consider adding something that replaces your fast with a relationship-building exercise.
- Still trying to find a practice? Ask this question: What is the one habit/practice/fast I can take on that will make me holier in forty days? It sounds SO simple but I often get so distracted when it comes to Lent that I completely bypass this core question. If you’re not in the habit of praying, carve out ten minutes a day. If you pray ten minutes, carve out thirty. If you’ve never been to daily mass, add it once or twice a week. Can you get to the Stations of the Cross on Fridays? What are the little (but actually BIG) shifts you can make in your life to grow in holiness.
I’m so excited to embark on this journey into the desert with you this Lent! God bless you on Ash Wednesday tomorrow, and I’ll see you on Sunday!
What we’re loving lately
I love Claire and this list is incredible. I also highly recommend subscribing to her “Letters from a Catholic Feminist” newsletter, which is always so thoughtful and relevant.
I love this video from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal on prayerfully selecting a Lenten observance. They have another great one on giving up social media for Lent, which I also enjoyed!
I love Nicole Caruso (she’s a phenomenal Instagram follow) and her thoughts on choosing one specific Lenten commitment were spot on. You can find the post here.
- For peace on earth, especially in the Ukraine-Russia conflict
- For a prayerful beginning of Lent
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Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.