Lenten Promises

Lent is here! This year, I'm focusing on my prayer life and increasing quiet time with God, so my "to-do's" are all falling in that area. I like breaking down my Lent into the three areas reflected in Matthew's Gospel read during Ash Wednesday mass (read it here), which are prayer, fasting and alms giving.

Prayer:

  • Morning prayer includes a daily reflection using the Blessed is She Lenten reflection journal "Put on Love" written by Elizabeth Foss. This is a beautiful journal that I've loved using the first two days, and the community and daily devotionals on the website really help set my mind for the day! Check them out at blessedisshe.net
  • Evening reading of something to quiet my mind and reflect on Jesus, whether it be the scripture, an article or a book. I'm working my way through Lent through Father James Martin, SJ's book Jesus: A Pilgrimage, which goes through Jesus' life story with reflections from scripture, history and Father Martin's own pilgrimage to the Holy Land. (P.S. Father Martin is a great writer and has a lots of great posts and videos! Check him out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and at America Media

Fasting:

  • To help create more space for prayer, reading and writing, I'm fasting from (but not giving up completely) watching so much TV. Sometime the quiet freaks me out, so I put Netflix on in the background or aimlessly watch it in between classes or before bed, so I want to eliminate that aimlessness. I'm not giving it up completely but becoming more intentionally about my time and limiting my shows that I watch to create time for other things.

Alms giving:

  • While I am giving to the Bishop's Annual appeal during Lent, I'm trying to give of my time more, especially through prayer.A lot of the people in my life are physically far away from me, so I can't help them physically, which stresses me out. But I can help them spiritually, by offering up their intentions in prayer and dedicating my time to them. I'm trying to write prayer intention cards each day for different people, with the intent on sending them eventually, to commit to praying for other's intentions and lifting them up in prayer. (So if you have a prayer request, let me know!)

I'll try to document how its going during Lent, but I'm pretty excited because I feel like this is an area of life I really need to work on this year, and I'm planning on carrying out this intentionality after Lent is over.

What are your Lenten promises?