By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] Well, Lent is here … Wait … Lent is already here?!?! If you’re like me, 2018 has been flying by and Lent has snuck up like a thief in the night. I just recently had a co-worker walk up to me and ask what I’d decided to give up for Lent, and I actually had to tuck my tail in shame because I hadn’t thought of anything yet. Lucky for you (and me, since I’m still trying to make up my mind), I’ve come to the rescue with some last-minute ideas to offer up a sacrifice for the Lord over the next 40-ish days:
Copyright 2018 Tommy Tighe
Fasting From The RadioSilence. We need silence. It is the advice I most often hear from our recent popes: We need some time to be in silence and reflect on the word of God. We pray and we pray and we pray, and then complain God doesn’t respond. But do we really take any time to sit in silence and see what he has to offer? In today’s fast paced world, we’re running from one activity to the next all while having a constantly buzzing entertainment break into our lives at all moments of the day via social media and all our smartphones have to offer. One solution: fast from the radio in the car. I have a one-hour commute, in each direction, and I typically use the radio to help me dissociate from how much I dislike sitting in the car for that long. Catholic radio, classic hip-hop, NPR: it all helps me to stay distracted from the fact that I spend so much of my life sitting on a freeway that doesn’t seem to be moving. Imagine if I took that time to be in silence with God. A quick prayer before turning the key in the ignition asking the Holy Spirit to join me on my ride to work or home, and then … silence. For me, that would amount to ten hours of silence per week. Imagine what God could do with those ten hours of silence!
One Weekday MassSince there’s still plenty of time in Lent, we’ve all got plenty of time to ask our boss for a morning off of work to allow us to find our way to a weekday Mass. I’ve been going to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation for my entire life, but I could probably count weekday Mass experiences on one hand. This is another problem with our overworked and over-scheduled lives. We are missing out on the richness of being able to start our day with Mass and allowing the Mass to frame our entire outlook on the rest of our day. Perhaps we could try and sneak one weekday Mass into our Lenten schedule, and if we can pull that off, perhaps add another, and maybe even make it a habit?
Add a Rosary to Your Exercise RoutineMost of us try to sneak in a little exercise every week, but how about adding a little spirituality to our tending of the temple. Sure, working out the body is a good thing, as we’re taking an active role in taking care of the amazing gift God has given us. But adding a Rosary to the mix? Now we’re talking. The Rosary is one of the most powerful prayers in our Catholic spirituality, and if we can add it to the mix of pushing ourselves toward a more healthy life, we’re sure to see the benefits. Going for an evening walk? Take along those beads. Heading to the gym? Plug those earbuds into an audio Rosary. Doing a little cardio in your living room? Add a few decades to the mix! All right, procrastinators (like me), it’s time to grab something for Lent and get to it. Time is running out!
Any other last-minute Lenten ideas come to mind? Share them in the comment section!
Copyright 2018 Tommy Tighe
About the Author
Tommy is a Catholic husband, father of four boys, and the author of The Catholic Hipster Handbook (available now!).