from Parents in Prayer
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
By Brian T. Olszewski - Catholic Herald Staff
During Lent, the church instructs its members to make prayer, fasting and almsgiving integral parts of their
lives. For you who wish to supplement your spiritual diet, the Catholic Herald presents the following 40 options
in no particular order, as ways to help you experience a grace-filled Lent.
1. Learn about your patron saint.
2. Pray for — by name — people you don’t like and for people that don’t like you.
3. Participate in a healing service.
4. Read a Catholic magazine every time you visit the library.
5. March 19, in honor of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters and fathers, build or build upon a relationship
with one of your children.
6. Buy two of everything on your grocery list, and give the duplicates to the local food pantry.
7. Find out why you should have fun on Laetare Sunday, and then do so.
8. Start a “cuss bowl.” For every unkind word you utter, put in a dollar — two dollars during Holy Week. After
Easter, give the money to an English as a second language program.
9. Bring a “Baltimore Catechism” to a gathering of Catholic friends, and start asking each other questions.
10. Give away a material item you really value.
11. Pray for those, e.g., children, parents, spouse, siblings, who have left the church.
12. Talk to a neighbor you rarely or never talk to.
13. Keep a dish of ashes in a prominent place as a constant reminder of the season.
14. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
15. Test your knowledge of Scripture.
16. Read a biography about Archbishop Oscar Romero and/or watch the video “Romero.”
17. Open a Christmas Club account with the intention of giving the money to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
18. Visit a church when you don’t have to.
19. Reserve a button on your car stereo for the Relevant Radio station in your area.
20. Pray the news — for the people whose stories of hardship are reported daily and weekly.
21. Read an entry from a Catholic encyclopedia.
22. Attend Mass at a parish other than your own
23. Tithe your tax return.
24. If Catholic schools get NCAA tournament bids, learn for whom those schools were named.
25. Observe five minutes of silence every day.
26. Instead of watching “The Office”, watch “The Passion of the Christ.”
27. Use a Lenten theme in decorating part of a room.
28. Memorize a Proverb.
29. Participate in a faith formation presentation.
30. Tell someone your story(ies) of faith, how God has made a difference in your life.
31. Disconnect the TV and/or the computer.
32. Identify your God-given gifts, how you use them, and how you could use them better.
33. Fast from gossip.
34. Pull the rosary out of your drawer and say it. Too boring? Say the Scriptural rosary.
35. Remove your watch before leaving for church on Palm Sunday.
36. Develop a prayer list.
37. Read a history of the papacy.
38. Find out who Raamah, Putiel, and Uzzah are.
39. Sacrifice your time in order to help others.
40. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words