Ash Wednesday Stewards 2-11-2018

Ash Wednesday is a special day of devotion for Catholics. Churches are packed like no other day except Christmas and Easter. Even though the Church does not designate Ash Wednesday as a holy day of obligation, Catholics flock to receive ashes. Along with this outward sign of the beginning of a season of penitence, we embrace the call to conversion that Ash Wednesday brings. As Christian stewards, we will greet Lent with the best of intentions. But sometimes, we reach Easter disappointed in our own efforts. Here are some suggestions for staying on task during this Lenten season:

  • Plan ahead. Give thought and prayer to what will most help you draw closer to Jesus during this special season. Write your intentions down, and review them often.

 

  • Keep it simple. Like those folks who sign up for gym memberships on January 1 and give up by January 31, sometimes we approach Lent with too many resolutions. Be realistic and don’t set yourself up for guilt.

 

  • Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are the pillars of Lent. Try to do one thing in each of these categories. Stretch yourself a bit and come up with something new and challenging.

 

  • Keep your eyes on Jesus. Coming closer to him through his passion and resurrection is our goal.

 

  • Prepare your home with Lenten reminders. If you have no crucifix in your living areas, place one there. Find a special picture or holy card that speaks to you and display it. Place a Bible or religious book in your favorite sitting area and read some of it each day.

 

  • Simplify something tangible in your daily life, like your closet or your schedule. Let some things go.

 

  • Take your family to the Stations of the Cross at least once on a Friday evening.

 

  • Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and encourage your family to do so as well.

 

  • Place a special candle on the dining room table and when your family says grace each evening, encourage them to share the struggles and joys of their Lenten resolutions, or perhaps an act of kindness they did that day.

 

  • Attend the Triduum liturgies. Make it a point to prepare for and participate in the beautiful Triduum liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and even the Easter Vigil. Celebrate the completion of your Lenten commitment.