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Faith Practice of The Month - February

 

Every month, we suggest a Faith Practice which you and your home, school or parish community might like to take on as part of your commitment for the Year of Faith. It is our hope that these simple practices will stir in us the ‘renewed conversion of the Lord’ that Pope Benedict XVI calls for in Porta Fidei (n. 6).

 

Faith Practice of the Month for February: Lenten Practices

 

Lent is the annual period of forty days beginning on Ash Wednesday. It is a time set aside for penance, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for the coming celebration of Easter. Often, our Lenten commitments focus on just one of these aspects – fasting – and so we pledge to ‘give up’ something we enjoy, such as sweets, biscuits or alcohol. The objective, however, is not to fast from things that we know we should try to stay away from anyway, but rather to sacrifice something in an effort to become closer to God.

 

During this Year of Faith, consider undertaking some of the following practices based on the three pillars of Lent:

 

Penance/Prayer:


 - Allocate time each day for prayer. Give thanks to God for the blessings of the day, pray for a personal need prompted by the day’s experience, and pray for those who are in need or suffering in your community and in the world 

 - Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Lenten season

 - Spend some time each week reading and reflecting on the Sunday Gospels:  Luke 4:1-13, Luke 9:28-36, Luke 13:1-9, Luke 15:1-2, 11-32, John 8:1-11 and Luke 22:14 – 23:56

 - Pray the Stations of Cross

 - Attend Mass one day a week as well as on Sundays

 - Take one book from Sacred Scripture that you are less familiar with and read part of it each day

 - Pray the Liturgy of the Hours – the prayer of the Church – every day

 - Read and reflect on the readings of the day using a website such as www.sacredspace.ie

 

Fasting:


 - Fast from watching television one night each week so that you can spend time on prayer and almsgiving pillars of Lent with your family
 - Fast from listening to the radio on your commute to/from work and instead spend the time in silence
 - Fast from social media and instead visit friends and family in person
 - Fast from negativity and instead affirm one person every day 
 - Fast from a favourite food or drink and set aside the money you would have spent to donate to a special charity
 - Fast from using your car for short journeys and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation as you walk
 - Fast from reading within your usual literary genre and choose from the Veritas’s Book of the Month range instead
 - Fast from your usual Sunday routine and spend part of the day on your own, imitating Jesus’ time in the wilderness  

 

Almsgiving:


 - Give as generously as possible to collections for charitable organisations
 - Visit or telephone a neighbour who is sick, older or alone
 - Donate good quality clothes or books to a charity
 - Volunteer in the Church, for example to clean it or prepare its grounds in preparation for Easter
 - Spend some time each week reflecting on one of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching
 - Volunteer to chat or read to clients in a local nursing home
 - Browse the Trócaire website and click on ‘Get Involved’ to see what part you can play in working for a more just world
 - Donate some non-perishable foodstuffs to a local charity, such as the St Vincent de Paul, Penny Dinners or the Capuchin Day Centre

 

Previous Faith Practices of the Month:

October 2012: Pray part of the Rosary every day 

November 2012: Praying for those who have died 

December 2012: Enthroning the Christmas Crib 

January 2013: Performing Corporal Works of Mercy


 


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