The church instructs its members to make prayer, fasting and almsgiving, integral parts of their lives. For you who need to supplement your Lenten Practices, your friendly homeschooling mom has adapted these from the list offered by the Catholic Herald to our more traditional tastes.
1. Read a book about your patron saint. OK.you can look him up online. If there's a video biography, order it here.
2. Pray for by name people you don't like and for people that don't like you.
3. Participate in Eucharistic Adoration. Every week.
10.Give away one box of items to your church thrift shop.
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. Invite them over for tea.
13. Keep a crucifix in a prominent place as a constant reminder of the season.
14. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Weekly.
15. Read the Scripture read at Mass each day. I read Magnificat for that and wonderful hymns, artwork, and meditations which deepen the meaning of the readings for me. If you have failed at this, turn on the Mass at EWTN, and at least watch the Scripture readings and homily.
16. Read a biography about Pope John Paul II and/or watch the new video on his life
17. Bring the children to visit an elderly relative, neighbor, or a nursing home.
18. Play a "Lighthouse Catholic Media" CD in your car each day. Then pass it on. Better yet, discuss with your pastor the possibility of setting up a display in your church vestibule.
22. Visit three churches on the evening of Holy Thursday after the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on special altars. This is an ancient tradition my girls love, as it feels like a pilgrimage, and they love to see the originality of the floral decorations. I love to see the devotion of the people.
23. Tithe your tax return to the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. They're Fr. Benedict Groeschel's order, who help the poor in New York, Ireland, England, Haiti, and Honduras.
24. Pray a pro-life vigil outside an abortion mill.
25. Observe five minutes of silence every day.
26. Instead of watching your favorite TV show,(unless it's on EWTN) watch "The Passion of the Christ."
27. Use a Lenten theme in decorating your family altar.
28. Memorize your favorite Scripture passage.
29. Participate in the Stations of the Cross.
30. Tell someone your story of faith, how God has made a difference in your life. If you have a blog, post it online.
31. Disconnect the TV and/or the computer. (I fast from secular programming.)
32. Identify your God-given gifts, how you use them, and how you could use them better.
33. Fast from gossip.
34. The rosary: say it nightly with the whole family.
35. Remove your watch before leaving for church on Palm Sunday. If you don't get a seat, smile as you prepare for a little offering up of your small discomfort on Passion Sunday.
36. Don't forget to begin the Divine Mercy Novena on Good Friday.