8 Ways for Catholics to Prepare for Lent

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Lent is coming soon and now is the time for Catholics to prepare. Don’t wait until Ash Wednesday! Take a look at these 8 ways to prepare for Lent and grow closer to God.

1. Examination of Attachments

Similar to the examining your conscience for sins, take a few minutes to examine what attachments you have in your life. Are we overly attached to a certain food or entertainment? Is there something in our lives that’s taking an undue amount of time or attention?

With the Lord’s help, take the time before Lent to see what is taking up space from God. Then, craft your Lenten sacrifices around them.

2. Shared Sacrifices

Recent movements like Exodus90 bring a new spirit of communal sacrifice to the Church. Find others who can join you in certain fasts and penances. This will both help you grow closer to God AND grow closer to each other.

3. Private Sacrifices

It’s normal to share with everyone what sacrifices you’re doing for Lent. Be sure to also reserve some that only you and the Lord know about. This helps against the temptation to sacrifice so that others know about it.

4. Silence

Silent time provides many benefits, the main one allowing for prayer time with God. Lent is a great time to carve out silent time each day because our sacrifices give us more time back in the day. Although you can pray during this silent time, try other relaxing activities that may have been shut out in recent years. This includes things like going for walks, reading, and creating art!

If you give yourself the space for silence, you might find that you’ll want to keep it beyond Lent.

5. Learning

Lent provides ample opportunities to stretch our minds and learn something new! Some examples include:
  • Learning a new skill
  • Learning more about the faith
  • Digging through a challenging book
Invest in your mind this Lent!

6. Confession

It’s hard to find a better time in the year to go to Confession than Lent. Take the time to find when confessions are happening at your local churches and schedule it in.

Bonus points for going with a friend. Even more bonus points for going more than once!

7. Take Care of Your Body

The Scriptures say that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. When you do things like getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising, you’re treating your body with dignity. You also allow yourself to love better when your mind and body are in good order.

Don’t put off taking care of yourself among your Lenten sacrifices!

8. Prayer

Of course, what’s Lent without prayer? Lent is an amazing opportunity to reset our priorities and rekindle our communication with God. Fortunately, the first 7 ways to prepare all help our prayer life:
  • Isolating and removing attachments makes more room to attach ourselves to God
  • Shared sacrifices help us to look toward our brothers and sisters and help lead them to God
  • Private sacrifices add to our personal, intimate relationship with God
  • Silence allows God to speak, rather than drowning Him out with all kinds of noise
  • Learning disciplines our mind to use it for the greater glory of God, rather than letting it decay on shallow things
  • Confession removes all sin that divides us from God and our neighbors
  • Taking care of our body frees us to love God and others better – if our own life is out of order, how can we help others?
Lent is a great gift from God. We have a chance to shake ourselves out of bad habits and rekindle our love for God. If you prepare well, you’ll be able to receive the graces that the Lord has in store for you.
8 Ways for Catholics to Prepare for Lent
Trevor Jin
Trevor creates content for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) in Denver, CO. Before that he served as a FOCUS missionary.