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.
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'...
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention: That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- 4th Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
- 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
- Good Friday Reflection on the Nature of Sin
- Lent is almost over, but have YOU kept this Commandment?
- 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
- Holy Thursday: Take Up the Basin and Towel. Love is a Verb.
- Holy Thursday: He Loves to the End
- 2nd Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
- The Precious and Life-Giving Cross of Christ
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
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 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, 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
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 is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
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 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
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
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 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?
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 »
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
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
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
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
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.
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 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 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 refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'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 »