We’ve got Lent coming up soon, so that means it’s a great time to revitalize both yourself and your approach to your catechetical program. Using the Lenten practices of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer, explore how you can keep up your energy and effort as we continue winter sessions.
Any practicing Catholic has heard repeatedly about the importance of donating time, talent, and treasure to the Church. As you gear up for Lent, take a look at how you (and maybe even your program) do almsgiving. Is there a way you can change it up and bring some sparkle into your giving? Instead of donating to the food pantry one week, how about thinking about other charities too? Or what about making a visit to an elderly parishioner or neighbor? Can your parish use help decorating for the holy days? Or could your catechetical program send cards to the local retirement center?
Yes, fasting is a traditional part of the Lenten experience, but have you considered fasting from something other than food? How about fasting from gossip in the office or speeding on the roads? You could fast from negative thoughts about yourself or others. Also consider fasting from Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, and using that Web-surfing time for something else.
Most people have a way in which they typically pray, be it traditional prayer, the Rosary, meditative prayer, or centering prayer. Take a step out of your comfort zone, and try a new way of praying this Lent. If you regularly pray the Rosary, take some time to explore meditative prayer. If you do centering prayer, try singing songs of praise. Even if you don’t find another style of prayer which you feel comfortable incorporating into your regular routine, experimenting with prayer forms might revitalize the way you currently pray and bring new life to what can become rote. Be sure to try this with your catechetical teams as well. When you get together for a meeting, choose a new way of doing the opening prayer to keep everyone on their spiritual toes.
Keep your focus on your Lenten goals for yourself, your program, and your family. How are you looking to energize your Lent in a new way?
Heather Felton is a teacher and former Director of Faith Formation in Florida. She lives in northern Manatee County with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a bunny. When she isn’t working, Heather can be found reading, playing video games with her family, or writing children’s stories.