Lent In the Catholic Church: 4 Simple Ways You Can Go Deeper

Written by on February 14, 2024

Just as the season of Advent leads the faithful to Christmas, so does Lent prepare for Easter. Society has captured Christmas, swapping out Jesus with the commercialization of giving. In the fiscal year (and in some families) Christmas is the high point of the year. However, in the Catholic church that is not the case.

The liturgical year is comprised of three main seasons of Advent, Lent, and Ordinary time in between. Sprinkled throughout there are feasts and solemnities. Although Christmas is a high point, the taller apex, the most important day in the liturgical year, is Easter.

Often glossed over in our secular society, Lent is a forty day season (longer than Advent), also involves preparation, and is a time to draw closer to Our Lord. Here are four simple ways you can go deeper:


1. Pay Attention To Symbols and Your Senses In Your Catholic Church

The first thing to look for is a change in color. The priest’s vestments and the altar cloth in ordinary time are green. The color for both Advent and Lent is purple, but Advent has a bluer and richer hue, while the purple is deeper for Lent.

In the readings and prayer services during the Holy Triduum (three days before Easter), pay attention to the use of candles and light contrasted with darkness. Also, the use of incense hearkens back to the Old Testament, prayer, and offerings, which are also present in Holy Triduum.

Lent is a penitential season in which the faithful are called to a deeper conversion to conform their hearts to Christ’s. There is a sense of austerity and laying aside the pleasures of the world. When distractions are removed, there is more room to experience our Living God.


2. Examine Your Catholic Church and Take Lent Home With You

  • Consider the quiet at Mass. How can you add more silence to your life to hear the voice of God?
  • Where can you intentionally add something purple to remind you of the Lenten season?
  • When are you able to add Sacred Scripture to your daily routine via your Bible, a devotional, or even an app on the home screen of your phone or computer?
  • How can you create a more austere environment in your home to consider the emptiness of life without Jesus?
  • In what ways can you extend Lent to your job or work area?


3. Follow the Example Of the Catholic Church and Create An Altar At Home

If you do not already have a holy space, prayer corner, or home altar, Lent is an appropriate time to create one. All you need is a designated space and a few items or sacramentals that may already be in your home. These might include:

    • Holy water
    • Blessed salt
    • A crucifix
    • Holy picture
    • Bible
    • Candle
    • Catholic medals of Jesus, Mary, angels, and saints
    • Rosary

To make your area more suited to Lent, you can add:

  • Purple felt, fabric, or even paper on which to lay your items
  • A small bowl of sand from a craft store to symbolize the desert of Lent
  • Twigs or a branch as a reminder that after death comes resurrection
  • Nails or a woven crown of thorns symbolizing Christ’s suffering for you

4. Renew Your Resolve In the Catholic Traditions Of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving For Lent

Every year the Catholic church encourages prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent. However, repetition can sometimes lead one to overlook the importance of these pious practices.

This Lent, enter into prayer by trying something new:

  • Meditate on Sacred Scripture or journal using lectio divina
  • Recite rote prayers from a booklet, website, or Catholic app
  • Make up your own spontaneous prayer to converse with God
  • Pray the Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Chaplet of the Holy Face

Also, do a better job at fasting. In addition to the norms of fasting and abstinence, discipline yourself to better manage your time.

  • Fast from playing a particular game or app on your phone or computer.
  • Limit screen time.
  • Fast from a particular social media platform.
  • Challenge yourself to give up technology all together for specific hours or days.
  • Giving up something tangible can assist us in recognizing our deep hunger for God.

Finally, remember that it is through prayer and fasting that we are enabled to respond to God by almsgiving. Simply put, this means giving to the poor.

Donating time and goods or services are worthy activities. However, in our search to provide security for ourselves and our families, are we neglecting the poor?

What does your bank account or credit card statement reveal about what is important to you? (If you are assisting a family or friend financially, you are engaged in almsgiving.)

The story of the widow’s mite (offering) in Luke 21: 1-4 indicates that God is looking for our best effort, even if it is not much in the world’s eyes. It is all about the heart.


Catholic Radio Assists Listeners To Live Lent Well

The Lenten season is a great time to tune in to Catholic Radio Network. Our schedule includes Holy Mass, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary, homilies and retreat talks, and daily call-in programs all focusing on this time in the liturgical year.

We invite you to listen online to one of our five livestreams, find your local station, or download our free app for Apple and Android.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

[There are no radio stations in the database]