“We should also consider attending daily Mass and spending some time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament… St. John Vianney says that Prayer stretches the heart….” – Bishop Gerard Bergie, Journey through Lent, Ash Wednesday, 2021
“My Heart is filled with sorrow to the point of death… Could you not watch one hour with Me?
“Stay awake and pray not to be put to the test.” – Jesus
“Then an angel appeared to Him, coming from heaven to give Him strength.” (Luke 22:43)
Now is a good time to make concrete resolutions towards a meritorious Lent.
Prayerfully ponder ways you want to grow in love of God and your relationship with Him and to improve in your spiritual life.
What can you do this Lent to foster and deepen your desire and efforts for the salvation of souls?
See this as your last Lent. Practise discipline and mortification. Make resolutions.
- Attend daily Mass in person (or virtually if you are shut in)
- Make frequent visits to your local Eucharistic adoration chapels and to the Blessed Sacrament
- Be more faithful to or increase your current holy hours
- Sign-up for a weekly holy hour at a nearby parish
- Have a Eucharistic Adoration sign-up at your parish (you are welcome to contact us if you would like any assistance)
- Make Acts of Spiritual Communion during the day
- Invite or bring someone to Mass/Divine Liturgy or adoration
- Volunteer to become an adoration coordinator at your parish
- Every day pick a different soul (i.e. in your family tree) or let Our Lady or St. Joseph pick one. Do your best to obtain a Plenary Indulgence for their release from Purgatory (i.e. half an hour before the Blessed Sacrament and/or reading scripture, Stations of the Cross, public Rosary, etc.)
- Note: in order to obtain a daily Plenary Indulgence to free a soul from Purgatory or for oneself, the Enchiridion of Indulgences stated Confession within “several days” before or after the performance of the indulgenced work is sufficient to gain a daily Plenary indulgence. As to what the “several days” meant in actual numbers, the Church didn’t stipulate it. The common understanding became a week. However, in 2005, the Apostolic Penitentiary stated that Confession is required “about twenty days before or after the indulgenced work” cf. Norm of Confession for Gaining a Plenary Indulgence | EWTN
- Commit to going to frequent or regular Confession i.e. weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly – choose a particular point or defect to overcome with a corresponding virtue to practise each month. Theological virtues: faith, hope, charity. Cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude. The Seven Capital Virtues: humility, generosity, chastity, meekness, temperance, brotherly love, diligence. Practise cheerfulness, politeness, courtesy, patience, thankfulness.
- Stop sinning and sinful habits
- Improve or begin the habit of making a daily Examination of Conscience followed by an Act of Contrition. This does not have to be done right before bed if you are too tired, but rather pick a regular earlier daily time that works for you and stick to it i.e. right after you pray the daily family rosary
- Pray the Divine Office (i.e. Morning, Evening, Night prayer, Office of the Readings) alone or with someone
- Pray the Rosary or more rosaries alone or with a friend
- Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in reparation for sin
- Commit one daily act of either a spiritual or corporal work of mercy for either one who has been harmed by our sin or who has harmed us by their sin (i.e. call a shut-in to check in on them)
- Commit to days of fasting (i.e. Wednesdays, Fridays) and abstinence throughout Lent (i.e. unhealthy/junk food, processed food, sweets, refined sugar/foods, pop, caffeine, fast food etc.)
- Drink more water, strengthen your immunity naturally, get enough Vitamins D and C, zinc, quercetin etc.,
- Commit to a prescribed time of half an hour to an hour of daily physical exercise based on one’s abilities – the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy could be prayed while exercising
- Refrain from or limit your use of conventional and social media
- Do you have good books you would like to read? Fast from or reduce TV/Internet and instead do Spiritual Reading i.e. an hour a week on Sundays or 15 minutes to half an hour daily, if possible during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Read a full Gospel during Lent
- Bless yourself, your family and your residence with holy water at bedtime
- Do your daily duties better and with a smile
- Every day offer up the little inconveniences, prayers and sacrifices for souls and for a living but fallen soul who needs grace and conversion
- Pray Litanies, for example:
- Monday: Litany of Humility
- Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
- Wednesday: Litany of St. Joseph
- Thursday: Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
- Friday: Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
- Saturday: Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (or the Blessed Virgin Mary)
- Sunday: Litany of the Blessed Sacrament
- Improve your family’s emergency preparedness
“In His anguish He prayed even more earnestly, and His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” (Luke 22:44) Jesus did this for us, let’s give Him our best efforts this Lent.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Journey through Lent” with the Most Rev. Gerard Bergie, Bishop of St. Catharines, is series of reflection on the Scriptures for the Sundays of Lent 2021: