February 15, 2012 // Local

Lent offers a bowlful of activities

This Lenten season is a 40-day journey into the depth of your own heart. It is a time of introspection, repentance and resolve to move deeper into the love of Christ through His Passion and Resurrection. Today’s Catholic offers these daily activities to assist both individual and family members journey into the Catholic Lenten tradition of prayer, penance and sacrifice. Display a special bowl or basket in a prominent place in your home. Cut the Lenten activity into strips, fold and place in the bowl or basket. Draw one Lenten activity strip each day and put your faith into action.

• Create a Lenten prayer that you can recite each day till Easter.

• Place a crucifix or picture of Jesus in prominent place to keep your focus on Him during Lent.

• Perform an anonymous act of kindness for one person today.

• Send a letter to a seminarian to underscore your prayers for vocations.

• Clean a cabinet or closet and donate items to a charity.

• Choose a meaningful Scripture, write it down and memorize it. Share it with someone.

• Give up 10 minutes each day till Easter and spend it in prayer.

• Pray for someone you don’t like today.

• Smile at a stranger.

• Attend a fish fry or share a meatless meal and tell why you are abstaining.

• Look for evidence of God in your work or school today. Share your finding with someone.

• Give up something you really enjoy — just for today.

• Choose a saint and learn about him/her. Pray for the saint’s guidance during Lent.

• Attend a Reconciliation service or go to private Confession this week.

• Forgive someone who has hurt you.

• Ask Jesus to heal you of anything that separates you from His love.

• Perform some act of service for your parish or school.

• Go to a room, close the door and pray in secret.

• Resolve to go the entire day without judging anyone today, including yourself.

• Eat pretzels today as a reminder that Catholics used to fast from milk, cheese and meat.

• Save your change all week and give it to charity.

• Pray the Stations of the Cross and meditate on each one.

• Fast from dessert today.  Give your piece away.

• Pray for loved ones and others who have died.

• Send a card to a grandparent or other loved one, just because.

• Tell your teacher or boss what you like about them today.

• Read the Bible for 10 minutes today. Share what you learned with someone.

• Take a walk with a friend or family member and pick up trash along the way.

• Thank the person who makes your dinner today.

• Pray for those who are ill or lonely today. Then if possible visit, call or send a card.

• Tell someone the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

• Say “thank you” to five people today.

• Make cookies and take them to a nursing home or homebound neighbor.

• As a child of God, resolve to think and say only positive things about yourself today.

• Be nice to someone you don’t like today.

• Complete a chore without being asked today.

• Turn off the TV and computer and pray the rosary together with family or friends.

• Abstain from meat on Fridays and give the money you save to your church.

• Write a letter of love and gratitude to your parents today. Deliver it in person if possible.

• At day’s end, perform an examination of conscience. Pray for mercy and the grace for change.

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