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"4 ways to keep Lenten progress strong" by Tiffany Walsh (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pixabay.com (2013), CC0/PD[/caption] If you are anything like me, you start out Lent with an intense system of organization: plans are in place, devotionals are purchased and sitting by the bedside, prayer and liturgy apps are installed on my phone. I start Ash Wednesday with a ferocious sort of power, sweeping through my days with prayerful abandon, and then as the Lenten days tick by I begin to wonder what I got myself into. Now, ambition is a *good* thing, but there are several ways I have found to make my aspirations a bit more manageable such that I can keep up with them for longer than just the first two weeks of Lent. Rather than “failing at Lent” (something that I am quite experienced at!) we can stay strong throughout the entire liturgical season.
  1. Make goals with friends: Sharing an experience with your own close-knit community lends a sense of encouragement and camaraderie to everything you do. Of course, we are all sharing Lent together as the larger body of Christ, but if you have friends that you communicate with daily (either in person or online), that is a heartwarming way to support each other in your Lenten promises. Evening or morning check-ins, and the ability to just reach out for some inspirational chatting or a soothing word, can make all the difference in staying on track.
"4 ways to keep Lenten progress strong" by Tiffany Walsh (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pixabay.com (2015), CC0/PD[/caption]
  1. Less can be more: I find that I add more and more interesting devotions onto my plate in the days leading up to Lent, but that it can be better to spend heightened time and focus on fewer items. Perhaps one of the new devotionals can wait until next year, or can be used during summer Ordinary Time instead, when things are quieter liturgically, and when the kids need extra prayers for the upcoming new school year.
  1. If you fall off the bandwagon, tomorrow is a new day! I am guilty of this nearly every year – if I miss a day or two of my resolution(s), and/or eat the thing that I strove to give up for Lent, I feel a sense of: “well, I guess that is that, then. There’s always next year!” Actually, there’s always tomorrow! A slip up (or two, or three …) does not mean that all hope is lost for you. It would be even more Lenten for us to accept with humility that we are not perfect, and to jump back on the bandwagon the next day!
"4 ways to keep Lenten progress strong" by Tiffany Walsh (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pixabay.com (2014), CC0/PD[/caption]
  1. Set Holy Week aside for special efforts: If you have not quite gotten fully back into the Lenten swing of things, Holy Week is the perfect time to reinvigorate your efforts. This is the most sacred and unique week in the entire liturgical year – we can really make it count! With all of the beautiful liturgies available to attend, and special readings and prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours, it is much easier during this week to turn our focus to spiritual matters. Bolster your intentions this week, and let the fervor run strong into the home stretch!
How do you stay motivated throughout Lent? Do you have additional tips to add to my list? I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Copyright 2020 Tiffany Walsh