Now is a good time to make concrete resolutions towards a meritorious Lent.
Despite the fact that age, health, virus variants and the current pandemic are factors that may affect some of our 2021 Lenten practises, during Lent, we can still commit to prayer, acts of adoration and reparation, fasting, abstinence, penanceand developing the virtues.
First, ponder the ways you want to grow in your spiritual life this Lent. Take this to prayer. What can you do this Lent to foster and deepen your desire and efforts for the salvation of souls and for the triumph of Our Eucharistic Lamb over the forces of the devil and evil?
Ideas for Prayer (possibly during Eucharistic adoration), Reparation & Penance:
Say a daily prayer to St. Joseph during this year in his honour (perhaps after your daily prayers or family Rosary)
Attend daily Mass in person (or virtually if you are shut in)
Make frequent visits to your local Eucharistic adoration chapels or the Blessed Sacrament
Be more faithful to or increase your current holy hours
Sign-up for a weekly holy hour at a nearby parish
Have a Eucharistic Adoration sign-up at your parish (you are welcome to contact us if you would like any assistance)
Make Acts of Spiritual Communion during the day
Invite or bring someone to Mass/Divine Liturgy or adoration
Volunteer to become an adoration coordinator at your parish
Every day pick a different soul (i.e. in your family tree) or let Our Lady or St. Joseph pick one. Do your best to obtain a Plenary Indulgence for their release from Purgatory (i.e. half an hour before the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross, public Rosary, reading Scripture etc.)
Every day offer up the little inconveniences, prayers and sacrifices for souls and for a living but fallen soul who needs grace and conversion
Pray the Divine Office (i.e. Morning, Evening, Night prayer, Office of the Readings) alone or with someone
Pray the Rosary or more rosaries alone or with a friend
Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in reparation for sin
Commit one daily act of either a spiritual or corporal work of mercy for either one who has been harmed by our sin or who has harmed us by their sin
Commit to days of fasting (i.e. Wednesdays, Fridays) and abstinence throughout Lent (i.e. sweets, pop, caffeine, junk food, fast food, processed food, harmful agents etc.)
Drink more water, take enough Vitamin D, strengthen your natural immunity and stay strong
Fast from all vices i.e. avoid sloth, gossip, impatience etc.
Improve or begin the habit of making a daily examination of conscience followed by an Act of Contrition - this does not have to be done right before bed if you are too tired, but rather pick a regular earlier daily time that works for you and stick to it
Commit to going to Confession once a week (where available) - choose a particular point or defect to overcome with a corresponding virtue to practise each month. Theological virtues: faith, hope, charity. Cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude. The Seven Capital Virtues: humility, generosity, chastity, meekness, temperance, brotherly love, diligence. Practise cheerfulness, politeness, courtesy, patience, thankfulness
Commit to a prescribed time of half an hour to an hour of daily physical exercise based on one’s abilities - the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy can be prayed while exercising
Refrain from or limit your use of conventional and social media
Fast from TV/Internet and instead do Spiritual Reading i.e. an hour a week on Sundays or 15 minutes to half an hour daily, if possible during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Read a full Gospel during Lent
Bless yourself, your family and your residence with holy water at bedtime
Do your daily duties better and with a smile
Pray Litanies, for example:
Monday: Litany of Humility
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
Wednesday: Litany of St. Joseph
Thursday: Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Friday: Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saturday: Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (or the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Sunday: Litany of the Blessed Sacrament
"In His anguish He prayed even more earnestly, and His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood." (Luke 22:44) Jesus did this for us, let's give Him our best efforts this Lent.
A lady purchased a monstrance which by mistake still contained a Sacred Host. She decided to use a knife to remove the Host, which started to drip living Blood that dried immediately, leaving imprinted the image of the Lord, seated on a semicircular throne with some of the instruments of the Passion on the side. The Host remained intact for more than 350 years, until it was destroyed by revolutionaries.
Parish bulletin quote for the Year of St. Joseph, Dec. 8, 2020-21
"St. Joseph worshipped Jesus as no saint before had done. From his deep, calm soul he poured out a veryocean of love - tenderest love, humblest love, love shrinking from being like the Father's love, yet also daring to be like it as Mary's had been like the conjoined loves of Father and of Spirit, as she was Mother and Spouse conjoined. No angel might love Jesus as Joseph loved Him, as Joseph was bound to love Him. No temporal love but Mary's could be more like an eternal love than the love of Joseph for the Child, because of its likeness to the love of the everlasting Father.Aside from the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph was the first and most perfect adorer of Our Lord."