I find that Lent is a certain “dying to ourselves.” Often, we imagine this happens through giving something up, and it certainly does. There are many things that we can remove from our lives to amplify God more: social media, coffee, online shopping. But what if amplifying God can come about through a different means, for example, through choosing the Lord or adding a practice to our lives? By adding something to our lives, we equally diminish our wants and desires in the present moment. We actively choose instead of purposefully "not choose." I find this personally engaging and just as challenging. This Lent, might you feel called to add to your life, instead? If you discern this to be a good fit in your personal walk with God, I’ve shared some simple ideas to do just that:
Whether a full Rosary, just a Decade, or even a single “Hail Mary,” try to pray the Rosary (or prayers of the Rosary) more often than you usually do. If you don’t know where to start or need extra help, invite a family member or friend to pray with you.
Is there a Catholic book you’ve been meaning to read, like the life (or writings) of a saint? Or the Bible? Select a particular text to journey with over Lent. Allow the book, biography, or diary to transform you. In turn, aim to live what you learn concretely in your own life, particularly over the 40 days of Lent.
In silence, we dialogue with God. Where can silence be more present in your day? Where are you contributing noise? How can you strengthen your inner dialogue with God?
Give of yourself
Who and where might Jesus be calling you to serve every day? Could it be your family members at home? A particular ministry or group of people? A person in need? This Lent, remain true to this interior “tug” and give of yourself to Jesus by serving another person, as He asks or as He presents himself. You can give of yourself through volunteering, doing the dishes, sharing tea, or simply saying “yes."
Reconciliation (with another person)
Is there someone in your life you are not at peace with? Could this be the moment to call them, to be the first to apologize, or to pray for them? This is very much a “dying to yourself” exercise and may be a perfect challenge for the Season of Lent. Consider also these strong words from Jesus:“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
A deeper “yes”
What parts of your life have you not given to God? What part of your heart is God asking for? Take time to reflect on this. This Lent, resolve to give a more full and total “yes” – a more complete gift of self to the Lord.