Ahh, Lent. It’s the exciting time all good Christians look forward to, right?
Uh, not so much.
As much as anyone loves themselves a tasty fish fry and some good old-fashioned fasting, Lent doesn’t always get the best rap, or at least the most authentic attention. You have the Classics, who give up things like chocolate or Facebook for 40 days. Or you have the Traditionalists, who follow the meat fast on Fridays. You get your ashes on Ash Wednesday and look somber on Good Friday–but are you really practicing Lent?
Helping it form you as it’s supposed to do?
Believe it or not, Lent can be a great season of change and deepening of faith. That’s why it’s a very ancient practice of the entire Christian Church. You can have the Greatest! Lent! Ever! (Yes, that’s really a thing). Here’s our guide of ways to help make it happen:
Come to our Sunday Night Gatherings and Get to Know Some Ignatian Spirituality. We’re a few weeks into our 10-week experience of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, and the ballots are in: people who have been coming LOVE these simple, yet deeply profound exercises. The gatherings are after the 7 pm Sunday night Mass and take 20 minutes or less. There’s even a handout to take with you so you can look back on it over the week as you incorporate it into your daily spirituality. What’s there not to like?
Check Out the USCCB “Give Up! Take Up! Lift Up!” calendar for easy, daily reflections and tasks…
…or, if you’re really into calendars, the BustedHalo “Fast, Pray, Give” calendar for a more “college-aged” take.
Participate in the Newman Center Post Secret Confessional as a way to make an examination of conscience, then arrange a time for an actual confession through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Find some new ways to pray here
Commit to actually going to Mass weekly or–gasp!–daily! Find the St. Bernard’s schedule here
Come up with something different to give up or take on (there are 66 new ideas here)
Check out the New and Improved Newman Center Library and do some spiritual reading. You’ll also find free rosaries and prayer cards (with St. Thomas Aquinas’ prayer for students), along with other free resources like our Fall Retreat in a Can.
Still not feeling it? Meet with the Campus Minister; she’ll hook you up with something that will get your spiritual fires blazing. And be sure to check back here; we’ll be posting with thoughts, reflections, and new ideas on how to help you get the most out of Lent. (But don’t forget, it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out right away)