Living a Catholic Lent 101
The Church in her wisdom has given us three pillars to strive for during Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Each of these pillars help to stretch us spiritually in different ways and ultimately unite us to Christ suffering on the cross. Let's dive into each pillar, and the importance of having a Lenten plan.
Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.
These three pillars of Lent are the focus of how we live out this liturgical season. They guide and focus our efforts as we walk through the desert so that we can walk with great intention.
Prayer is the very heartbeat of our relationship with God. It is the way we have been given to communicate with him, to share ourselves with him, and to get to know him. The depth of our relationship with God is equivalent to the depth of our prayer.
Fasting is a way to pray sacrificially. It allows us to become detached from our physical selves and strengthen our spiritual selves through giving something up. You can fast from anything, from food, screen time, music, or even your pillow.
Almsgiving is a giving of self in either your time, talents, or treasure. It gives us an opportunity to be aware of the needs of those around us and to be generous in extending ourselves to serve others. You can give back to those around you in simple ways like writing a note of gratitude to a friend, running an errand for someone, calling your grandma etc. you just need to get creative!
Building your Lenten Plan
In Lent pasts you may have chosen one thing to give up, like chocolate for example, and if you succeed for the most part in completing that fast, by the end of Lent you may feel pretty good about yourself and the fact that you went that long without eating one of your favorite sweets. But did you experience a deeper change of heart? Or a strengthening in your prayer life? Maybe you did, but maybe you were left feeling like, “well that was it?”
To maximize the depth of this liturgical season, it’s important to create a well rounded Lenten plan that touches on each of the three pillars of Lent. People often think that if they create a set plan, then their sacrifice or prayer isn’t “good enough” because it came from a “forced” structured plan versus a random act of love towards God when they “feel like it.” The reality is friends, if we left prayer and fasting up to whenever we felt like it- chances are we wouldn’t be feeling like it as very often, and as often as is needed to build your relationship with Jesus and truly grow in your faith. Making intentional plans for our faith life is good and necessary! Just as you need to schedule time to go to the gym to get stronger, or schedule a grocery run to buy food, scheduling time for prayer and planning intentional fasts is necessary to strengthen your prayer muscles and feed your soul.
We’ve got your plan covered.
Take out the guesswork of how you can fast and pray this Lent, and join hundreds of other Catholics in praying and fasting with our OASIS Lent Devotional.
A daily devotional that walks you through the 40 days of Lent in search of the one oasis that can satisfy your thirst- Jesus Christ. Our world more than ever is pushing the lie that you can be your own savior, and we know this is NOT the truth. Jesus is the One with living water that will quench our thirst for Truth, and give us eternal life.
Our OASIS Lent Devotional will help you know and live this more than ever. Through daily prayer prompts, unique reflections, weekly fasts, and and private online community to live Lent with, we hope you walk out of the desert with a deepening relationship with Jesus and a stronger faith. Purchase the OASIS Lent Devotional in packs to do in community, or the OASIS Lent Bundle to get one for yourself along with our other Lent Collection items.