Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of preparation for the Easter season when Christians are invited to deepen their spiritual lives through the practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Challenge yourself this year, and go beyond the usual practice of "giving up" something. Now is great time to take stock of your spiritual life and to grow in it.
Not sure where to start? Here are some resources and events to help you:
March 6, Ash Wednesday Masses
8:30 am at Christ the King Parish
12:00 noon - in the University Center, Room 332 - University of Montana
7:00 pm at Christ the King Parish
March 8, High School Retreat
April 1, Lenten Reconciliation Service - 6:00 pm
Tuesdays of Lent - Adoration - 5:00 pm - Christ the King
Fridays of Lent at St. Anthony
5:00 pm Stations of the Cross
5:30 pm Mass
6:00 pm - Knights of Columbus Fish Fry
Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving
WHY do we do these things? WHY do we give up things we enjoy? Does it mean anything if we are not intentional?
How's your prayer life? Maybe it's well developed, but you could use some new tools. Maybe it's non-existent, and you could use some new tools! Wherever you are in your prayer life, Lent is a beautiful time to explore new and different ways to connect with God. Consider some of the following:
Gratitude Rosary Did you receive one of our gratitude rosaries at Christmas? (You can get one on the resource table as well.) If you're not already using it, take it out and use it to deepen your sense of all that God has blessed you with Try using your Gratitude Rosary or a regular Rosary to pray a Chaplet of Divine Mercy. You can find instructions by clicking here.
Little Black Books are on the resource table.
Word Among Us follow the daily readings with reflections, also found on the resource table.
Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever, click here.
Bishop Robert Barron and the Word on Fire Lent Reflections
FORMED.org has Lenten Reflections with Dr. Timothy Gray. Sign up at here Sign up on FORMED.org using parish code 9W6GRP
Living Lent Daily from Loyola Press
Attend our Weekend Masses. The homily will be a message series - Too Busy Not to Pray - which is all about prayer. Click here for more details or to catchup on the series.
Think about adding a Daily Mass to your practice each week.
Evening Prayer - Every Sunday, Monday, Thursday at 6:00 pm in the Eucharistic Chapel at Christ the King.
How do you give back some of what God has given you? It might be your financial resources or maybe your talents. This Lent, give thanks and gratitude to people in your life who have blessed you in some way by taking time to write thank you notes.
Take some time and learn about our Mission in Guatemala. Watch for information throughout Lent and "Take Out" a regular larger meal or meal out from your weekly menu and replace it with a simple meal like soup and bread; place the savings in your "Take Out for Guatemala" box. All money will be sent to support the work of our Diocese in Santo Thomas la Union.
Think about what you usually spend your money on. Do you buy too many clothes? Spend too much on dinner out? Pick one type of expenditure that you’ll “fast” from during Lent, and then give the money you would usually spend to a local charity.
As a part of your Lenten almsgiving, make a point to learn more about a particular social issue (immigration, human trafficking, racism, the environment, public education, child poverty). Give money to an organization related to your chosen issue that supports the dignity of the human person.
Fasting isn't about inflicting discomfort on our bodies, it's about recognizing what things have taken a too important role in our lives. When we think of fasting, we often think of giving up food, which can be valuable, but have you thought of fasting from other things?
Television / Video Games
Buying things you don't need
Gossiping or talking about others
Think about your cell phone, maybe park it where you are not always checking it, especially in the evening.
Food Stamp Challenge: Millions of people rely on food stamps or SNAP. Try taking a few days and living on the daily food allowance which is about $6.40 per day.