Sherry Antonetti is a freelance writer, blogger and published author of The Book of Helen. She lives just outside of Washington, DC with her husband and their ten children.
With the Lenten season underway, here are a few ideas for how to begin the spiritual journey into the desert to prepare for the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord.
40. Go to Mass an extra time or two a week.
39. Give up caffeine.
38. Volunteer in the soup kitchen or a hospital for a few hours a week.
37. Surrender credit cards.
36. Say a daily Rosary.
35. Share the daily readings at dinner.
34. Fast from all fast food.
33. Take on a novena or devotional.
32. Add an hour of adoration to your weekly regimen.
31. Become a lay reader or usher, or bring Holy Communion to the homebound.
30. Write to friends and representatives about your faith.
29. Go to the gym or exercising daily as an offering.
28. Abstain from a favorite activity like Facebook or twitter... or one's phone.
27. Refrain from unpleasant, catty or snarky comments even in your head.
26. Say “I love you” daily to all of your family.
25. Offer up the most hated chore you have, performing it with a cheerful heart.
24. Receive the sacrament of Reconciliation and adopt a daily examination of conscience.
23. Become more educated on the Catechism or Church history.
22. Match all extra spending in charity giving.
21. Eliminate television/entertainment screens.
20. Ban the cell phone or computer when not at work.
19. Visit the sick, the elderly or the imprisoned.
18. Pray daily for the souls in Purgatory.
17. Seek reconciliation with estranged family and friends.
16. Give up a time fritterer — surfing the net, shopping, television, telephone, etc.
15. Have meatless meals all 40 days.
14. Invite others to Mass with you.
13. Clear out the closets of excessive toys and clothes that can be donated to charity.
12. Comfort the mourning with food, presence and prayer.
11. Contribute to Catholic Charities or a religious order.
10. Give Masses as gifts for the year.
9. Witness to life via a protest of the death penalty, abortion, writing letters or participating in a prayerful witness.
8. Host families for dinner on Friday. Discuss your faith.
7. Resolve to sing loudly if not well, at Mass, with joy and reverence.
6. Help with the catechism program of your church. Become a witness for your faith.
5. Get more involved in the parish and diocese, find out where help is needed and become that help.
4. Give up any unhealthy habit that keeps you from becoming closer to Christ.
3. Spend time discovering a saint’s faith through their writings.
2. Ask for the graces you lack, daily.
1. Spend time every day, thanking God for His Son.
Have a joy-filled Lent!