Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Mary Carty

2/21/2007 (8 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

COLCHESTER, Vt. (Catholic Online) - The season of Lent brings to mind thoughts of reflection, fasting and "giving up." Lent can also be thought of as a wonder-full opportunity to take 40 days - or what is left of them - to make desired life changes that may have been set aside due to ultra-busy schedules.

FILE PHOTO OF CROSS DRAPED IN PURPLE OUTSIDE CHURCH DURING LENT - A cloudy evening sky provides the backdrop for a cross outside St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., during Lent last April. The penitential season, which begins with Ash Wednesday, calls Christians to prayer, fasting, repentance and charity. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

FILE PHOTO OF CROSS DRAPED IN PURPLE OUTSIDE CHURCH DURING LENT - A cloudy evening sky provides the backdrop for a cross outside St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., during Lent last April. The penitential season, which begins with Ash Wednesday, calls Christians to prayer, fasting, repentance and charity. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Highlights

By Mary Carty

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/21/2007 (8 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


Lack of free time seems to be the cause or excuse for not doing what might be needed to be done, or what one might want to do. The desire of spending more "quality" time with the family, visiting a sick friend or getting a bit of exercise if often blocked due to lack of this precious commodity called time. There just never seems to be enough time. Lent is a time for people to reflect on their lives, their families and how their valuable time is spent. Chances are they will probably find an hour or a half hour that could have been spent in a more meaningful, productive and/or spiritual way. People can take a few minutes and calculate the amount of time spent watching television and/or the amount of time spent on the computer and decide whether or not there is an hour or even a half hour that could be spent doing something else. Parents can look at their children's schedules, as well, and see where there are windows of time. When, and if these short periods of time can be found, it is a gift that can be shared with others, while enriching an individual's live. The idea of coaxing the whole family to "find" extra time by curtailing television watching or instant messaging, may be met with great resistance and statements like: "You can't make me...."
"I don't want to..."
"Why do we have to..?" The answer is quite simple. This is the season of Lent and adults and parents can lead their families into new, more meaningful ways of spending time. Pulling the plug on television and Web surfing for 40 days and 40 nights is unrealistic in today's society. But, one hour or one half hour shouldn't be too much to ask. As Catholics, we are blessed with 40 days and 40 nights to reflect on our lives and actively make changes to improve our lives and strengthen our faith. Listed below are 40 ways to care and share during the season of Lent: 1. Have special time to walk outdoors with your spouse and/or children and let them know how special they are. 2. Encourage your children to talk about a topic of their choice, and really listen to what they are saying. 3. Set time set aside for reading to children. 4. Make an effort to have family meals more regularly, even a fun meal like pizza. 5. Make a quick stop at a relative's house for an overdue visit. 6. Remember to say grace at mealtime. 7. Pray in the evening alone, as a couple and/or as a family. 8. Pray the rosary together. 9. Go to the library to find artwork by the masters that relates to the Lenten season. 10. Volunteer at a food shelf to help prepare a meal. 11. Sort through closets and give away outgrown clothes to a charity. 12. Offer some time to help out at the parish. 13. Read from a meditation book. 14. Make a visit to a nursing home. 15. Offer to have children's friend, especially one experiencing trouble in their life, over for a meal. 16. Call a friend that you haven't talked to in some time. 17. Have family discussions about the season of Lent. 18. Share some your favorite music with the family and ask that they do the same, encouraging dialogue about music and creating a new way to spend time together. 19. Begin to plan for planting and caring for a garden. 20. Prepare new recipes that are related to the season of Lent. 21. Plan for an extra special Easter celebration. 22. Go to Mass on days other than on Saturday and Sunday. 23. Find time for play as a family, experiencing how positive it is share joy together. 24. Take time to listen and look at the natural wonders that God has created. 25. Go to confession. 26. Keep some fresh flowers or a flowering plant as a reminder of spring and the coming of Easter. 27. Sit and meditate in a prayerful way. 28. Do some arts and craft projects connected to Lent with young children. 29. Participate in Operation Rice Bowl. 30. Write an overdue thank you note to someone who has done a kindness. 31. Call a friend or relative that has recently experienced a loss. 32. Have a regular family reading hour. 33. Create a Lenten gratitude list as a family, adding one or more items each day. 34. Begin spring housecleaning or indoor projects in a present state of prayer and a joyful spirit. 35. Take time to review negative behaviors. 36. Consider ways to create more positive behaviors. 37. Give away smiles. 38. Try to avoid complaining and criticizing. 39. Offer to help with someone else's project. 40. Offer prayers of thanks in the morning and at the end of the day. If our efforts to make changes falter, we can remind ourselves that we are not perfect. We can also remember that we are given the gift starting the process over again and taking another opportunity to consciously make choices in line with the life we have been taught to live as Catholics. - - - Mary Carty is Home and Family editor at Catholic Online.

---


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


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Living Faith

MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey

Image of Take the Ash Wednesday survey so we can better serve your needs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online is conducting a global survey on Ash Wednesday practices. Each reader is asked to participate once. The survey will take less than a minute to complete. The results of the survey will help Catholic Online determine how best to serve your needs in the ... continue reading


Is this where the Annunciation took place? Ancient artwork sheds light an old mystery about the Virgin Mary Watch

Image of The Annunciation, 1859 (oil on canvas), Pinchon, Auguste.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

One of the oldest depictions of the Virgin Mary is casting new light on the Annunciation. A new look at an ancient depiction in the Yale University Art Gallery is making some question what they believe about the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


How do presidents pray? The beginning of a beautiful tradition Watch

Image of John F. Kennedy praying during the 9th annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 9, 1961 (Prayers for America).

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

This morning marks the 64th annual National Prayer Breakfast and President Obama's last time attending the remarkable tradition while in office.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On the first Thursday in February, the members of Congress and evangelical ... continue reading


Pope Francis will travel to Mexico as a messenger for peace Watch

Image of Pope Francis has participated in a collective interview, in which he responded to four questions posed by 33 people from various states across Mexico (Catholic News Agency).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis will leave for Mexico in just over a week. In a new interview with a Mexican news agency, he told citizens of the crime-ridden country that while there, he hopes to be a messenger of peace, which must be fought for daily. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Sparks fly over Pope Francis' interview with Asia Times Watch

Image of Pope Francis did not speak of religion or freedom when praising China as a progressive country (Vatican).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis' exclusive interview on Tuesday afternoon has been met with harsh criticism. Though the pontiff spoke highly of the country, he steered clear of religion and freedom talks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis spoke ... continue reading


Sis boom bah! American Circus cheerleaders perform for Pope Francis at the Vatican Watch

Image of Pope Francis enjoyed a cheer by the American Circus, which performed at the Vatican on Wednesday (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Following his general audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis enjoyed cheers, acrobatics and juggling performed by the Italian troupe "American Circus." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During the Papal Audience, the American Circus performed before the pontiff and ... continue reading


'I'm gay and I'm a priest, period': Chicago priest opens up about his same sex attraction Watch

Image of Father Michael Shanahan has announced his sexual orientation to the world (Our Lady of Lourdes).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Twenty-three years after joining the clergy as a priest, Father Michael Shanahan, the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Chicago, has publicly admitted he is sexually attracted to other men. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The news was released via the ... continue reading


Before priests, nuns drop 'gossip bombs,' - bite your tongue, Pope Francis commands Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

"Bite your tongue!" That is the orders of Pope Francis, who said that gossip loving priests and nuns are hindering their cause by the spreading of innuendos and gossip. The pontiff also bemoaned the drop-off in vocations but said those that the church takes must be ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The actor? Watch

Image of Pope Francis is rumored to play himself in the upcoming spiritual film ''Beyond the Sun'' (Paul Haring).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In the upcoming film "Beyond the Sun," Pope Francis will be making his acting debut. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Radio Vatican denied all claims that Pope Francis "will play himself" in "Beyond the Sun," with Monsignor Dario Edoardo ViganĂ² stating only "video ... continue reading


God sends nun to save elderly man's life Watch

Image of A nun who has yet to be identified saved a man after a tree pinned him to the ground (wiseGEEK).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a story that sounds like the plot of a religious film, a nun, who stepped outside to pray, heard the cries of an elderly man caught beneath a tree in the frigid Wrentham, MA night. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Seventy-four-year-old Douglas Goldman was out in ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
1 Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:6-7, 8-10
6 Listen, we heard of it in Ephrathah, we found it at ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:53-56
53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 8th, 2016 Image

St. Jerome Emiliani
February 8: Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty ... Read More