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Live Lent: Begin With a Plan

On each Monday in February, we will share some thoughts from Sr. Terry
about preparing for and really experiencing Lent,
which begins with Ash Wednesday on February 26.

A good Lent begins with a plan. Just as we carefully plan for big events in our personal lives, such as a graduation or a wedding, Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’passion and celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. The best way to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection is to live more fully Christ’s life in the here and now.

What are some actions this Lent that can deepen your relationship with God, make you more aware of God’s presence in your life, and help you to be kinder, more loving, to others? Reflect on your life and where you are in your relationship with God. Which relationship in your life most needs forgiveness and God’s healing presence? What are you doing for people who are poor and needy? What bad habit is keeping you away from God? What do you need to change?

Pray about it; ask God. We can’t make changes in our lives without God’s grace. Willpower is never enough. Now, write down simple actions under each of the three areas we are invited to act on during Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (giving to those in need and supporting our parish and other worthy organizations). Many parishes participate in CRS Rice Bowl through which millions of Catholics in the United States apply the Lenten pillars of praying, fasting, and almsgiving to help alleviate hunger around the world. See if your parish does this, or help to establish the program in your parish. For more information, go to

Remember, we are called to live Lent so we can live faith not only during these 40 days but every day henceforth.

Jot down the commitments you will make in each of these areas. Remember, keep it simple and doable. Review your Lenten commitments each Sunday during Lent, and make adjustments. Don’t give up; keep at it.

Excerpt from the Introduction to Live Lent! Year A
by Sr. Theresa Rickard, OP, President of RENEW International,
© 2019 RENEW International

Live Lent! contains daily meditations and weekly small-group faith-sharing sessions beginning on Ash Wednesday. It includes prayers, reflections on Old and New Testament readings, questions with journaling space, and action prompts to help us Live Lent! in our daily lives. Learn more and order Live Lent! at Use Promo Code TRLENT20 to save 25% on your order of Live Lent! or any of RENEW’s Lenten resources.

Please share this with anyone who might be interested in making the most of this season of preparation, renewal, and transformation. Don’t just observe Lent—live it!

Sr. Terry Rickard is a Dominican Sister of Blauvelt, NY and President of RENEW International.

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