It can be a challenge to figure out what to do for Lent. Never fear, we’re here for you.
Everything we do during Lent, we give to the Lord. We give to show our love for the poor and sick and lonely – so that we are one with them. We give Jesus little sacrifices so that we can grow in personal virtue. We pray to grow close to God. As you prep for Lent, ask the Lord what he desires of you. Is there a particular area of your life where you need growth? What can he perfect in you though your Lenten commitments?
Keep in mind, these Lenten plans are not like a New Year’s resolution. They’re not simply a personal development opportunity. Or a time of dedicated self-help, a chance to drop fifteen pounds. Lent is a forty day opportunity to walk with Jesus and observe how completely He loves us. Through the changes we make in our daily life we make room for Him.
Need some help with ideas of how to do this? Our FOCUS Missionaries brained stormed with me to compile this list. Thank you Fallon, Mary-Cate, Catherine, Alec, Dan and Clayton!
40 Ideas for Lent:
- Make your bed every day.
- Maintain silence in the car or on your walk to class.
- Delete your apps on your phone.
- Give up social media.
- Give up Netflix.
- When you wake, don’t look at your phone for an hour. Use your phone as your alarm? Buy an alarm clock and charge your phone overnight in the other room or on the opposite side of your dorm room.
- Spend 10-20 minutes in prayer each day. Try to go to the church or chapel.
- Do one thing each day that you don’t want to do, for the sake of another: (empty your roommate’s trash, wash the dishes, help a friend study for an exam: even if it’s inconvenient!).
- Think of 40 people and offer one day of Lent for each person. Be sure to send them a message to let them know.
- Struggle with vanity? Give up your mirrors. No mirrors! Cover them up with construction paper or towels.
- Read a spiritual classic. Or two.
- Heroic Minute – get up within one minute of your alarm, kneel down and make a morning offering.
- Give up the money you’d spend at coffee shops during Lent and donate it to a charity.
- Give up alcohol.
- Give two hours of your time to a local charity once a week.
- Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet each day during the 3 o’clock hour
- Pray Morning Prayer each day. Via Liturgy of the Hours.
- Read the Gospel for the day, choose one word that strikes you, write it down and tape it above your desk or on your fridge.
- No salt.
- Give up condiments. Coffee creamer, mustard, salsa…
- No coffee.
- Sleep on the floor.
- Give up your pillow
- Take cold showers.
- If you can’t a full cold shower, at the end of your shower, turn the water to cold and say a Hail Mary.
- Do a bread and water fast on Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Host a roommate meal once a week, no phones allowed. You have to sit at the table for an hour.
- Each week of Lent, add an extra book to your back pack. Come Holy Week, you’ll have six extra books in your bag and it will be heavy!
- Avoid unnecessary purchases. Donate what you save to the Poor Box in the church.
- Media purification: listen to and watch only Christian movies and music.
- Start a gratitude journal – each day, write what you are grateful for.
- Put a popcorn kernel or small rock in your shoe and pray each time.
- Grow closer to your confirmation saint – spend time each day learning more about their life. Find a book about them and read a bit each day.
- Park in the farthest parking spot away from class, at the store or movies. Offer your long walk as a sacrifice.
- Arrive 15 minutes early for mass each Sunday and pray with the daily readings.
- Go to confession!
- Attend one extra daily Mass each week.
- Invite a different friend to mass each Sunday.
- Don’t eat out and give the money you’ll save to a charity.
- Pray the Rosary each night, with your friends or family if possible.
Check out our Lent page on the St. Mary’s website for our Lenten schedule. And be sure to attend our Magnify Lenten Evening Retreat with Fr. Emmanuel Mansford, CFR from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal!
We pray you all have a blessed Lent!