Skip to main content


This Ash Wednesday, take Lent to the next level

What are you doing to make the world a better place this Lenten season?

This Ash Wednesday, Catholics are invited to do something exceptional for Lent. We often make sacrifices that mean something to us, but we must take our faith a step further.

Young boy praying on Ash Wednesday.

Young boy praying on Ash Wednesday.


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - What are you doing to take your faith a step further this Lent? You may already be giving something up, and you may be pretty good about not eating meat of Friday, but ask yourself this: what are you doing that actually makes the world a better place?

We often make the mistake of celebrating Lent a bit selfishly. Think about it for a second. We give something up, maybe we pray a little more, but what else? What are we putting into the world that makes it a better place? Think about the difference we would make if we performed acts of charity during Lent instead of simply avoiding chocolate. Think about how much power we as Catholics could demonstrate if we all just did one charitable deed during Lent. Now literally pause, please, and think about this...

Typically our sacrifices benefit ourselves and hey, that's okay!

We lose weight during Lent, we save money, we change habits. Lenten sacrifices can do much more for us than even our New Year's resolutions, as they should.

However, we tend to become preoccupied with serving ourselves. We are militant about dodging sweets, finding a decent place to get fish on Friday, and we do a good job with those extra prayers, typically needed when we give up daily habits that have become part of our routines.

Yet, we're not called to sacrifice for just ourselves. We're called to do more, and to make sacrifices for others as well. Indeed, the recipe for making the world a better place is two-fold. First, we must work on ourselves, something we tend to do well with during Lent. The second part is to serve others.

Remember, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. We too are called to do the same.

How? With busy lives and more distractions than ever, how are we to aid those most in need during times like these?

Again, the answer is simple. 'Prayer and Action' 

First we need to pray because through prayer we tap into our spiritual strength to overcome temptation. This prayer is what makes the extraordinary possible. If you lack the willpower to keep your Lenten sacrifice, if you lack the time or the means to do more for Christ, it is through prayer that you will be transformed.

Prayer will open your mind to a Christ-like way of thinking. It will simplify your life and open possibilities that you never knew existed.

Once your mind is awakened with prayer and you become aware of your strength, you are tasked with taking action. This is the critical follow-through to changing yourself during Lent. It is also the part where you actually serve others, becoming like Christ washing the feet of his disciples.

Catholic Online's 'Catholic Team Global' is making this step easy for those who wish to do more this Lent by serving others. Everyone is invited to take the Catholic Team Global Lenten Pledge to buy food for the poor via our 'Prayer and Action' program.

The process is simple. Sign up below to take the pledge. Then, pray to ask what you can do. Finally, according to your means, act by following this link.

Although the act itself is simple, let us make no mistake that it is easy. It isn't easy, and it isn't meant to be. We know that each of you works hard to earn what you have. So when you donate, consider your labor as part of your sacrifice. When you work, and earn what you will donate, work with a prayerful mindset and understand that you are serving in the vineyard of the Lord.

Remember that your prayers are important too. It is by Praying and Acting that you will change the world, and also change yourself.

And isn't that really what Lent is all about?

Take the pledge now.


Click here to Pray and Act now!


Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.

Keywords: Lent, sacrifice, help, ooor, world hunger, prayer and action



NEWSLETTERS »

E-mail:       Zip Code: (ex. 90001)
Today's Headlines

Sign up for a roundup of the day's top stories. 5 days / week. See Sample

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 3 of 3 Comments

  1. "G.G." a pro-life Catholic
    7 months ago

    For Lent, I will continue to serve those that need my help...I will also share my GOD
    given time, that HE has given me, to help the homeless...GOD has blessed me with good health and strength... I am fortunate to have such precious blessings...I ask all my
    family members to help the poor as GOD wants us to do...All in JESUS name...The more you give of yourselves, the more GOD will bless you and your familily...Remember,
    GOD WILL PROVIDE!

  2. Justina Bradley
    7 months ago

    This lent, I've decided to give something up that will make it easier for me to accomplish my God given dream, which is writing a novel.

    I'm giving up my biggest hobby- something I have always loved. Sometimes it's helpful, but much of the time it's simply distracting.
    I'm not giving up computer- I'm giving up video games.

    Since I still live with my family and they still are able to ground me, it's going to be a big deal if they ground me from my god-given mission. I really think that's rude.

  3. Ahsan Nabi Khan
    7 months ago

    Welcome Gesture. All the world is consecrated. Serve The Lord. Bring Fruit of The Vine, for My Father is the Husbandman. Feed The Lambs of G-d The Father in Heaven.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

More Easter / Lent

'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading


Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading


Holy Week

On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading


Holy Thursday

HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading


Good Friday

On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading


Easter Sunday

Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading


Fasting and Abstinence

For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading


FAQs About Lent

Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading


Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now


What did you give up for Lent?

What did you give up for Lent?

From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »

Lent / Easter News

  • 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    This Sorrowful pilgrimage now brings me here to this lonely hill. All the agony, the beatings and the bleeding have led me somewhere I do not want to go; somewhere I resist going with all my ...Continue Reading

  • 4th Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    I wonder if perhaps it was tempting for Jesus to just lie down on the dirt road and die right there. Completely sapped of strength and in agonizing pain, I wonder if He was tempted by the ...Continue Reading

  • 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    Humiliation, in one form or another, is part of the package.  It is only avoidable if we decide to deny Christ. WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - 3rd Sorrowful Mystery:  The Crowning ...Continue Reading

  • Good Friday Reflection on the Nature of Sin
    Michael Terheyden - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    The Passion of Christ represents the most atrocious miscarriage of justice in all of human history. So when we come face to face with the crucified Christ on Good Friday, it is only natural for us to ...Continue Reading

Good Friday

  • Good Friday

    On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.

    The Cross

    In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More

Ash Wednesday

  • Ash Wednesday

    Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.

    The Ashes

    The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More

Stations of the Cross

  • Stations of the Cross

    Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.

    Opening Prayer

    ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations

Fasting & Abstinence

  • 'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35

    Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.

    Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
    Learn More »

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
[Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
It was just about this time that some people arrived and told ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 25 Saint of the Day

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More