• Fast with one full meal, no snacks one day a week.
• Skip meat an extra day (or two) a week .
• Give up alcoholic beverages. (Except in social situations; then you get just one!)
• Give up coffee (or reduce to one cup a day).
• Give up all desserts.
• Give up all unnecessary shopping.
• Fast from music in the car.
• Fast from talk radio.
• Begin (or begin again) the daily Rosary .
• Meditate for 10 minutes a day (get a Magnificat to follow those).
• Choose one extra devotion per week during Lent: Stations of the Cross, Eucharistic adoration or a weekday Mass.
• Read a book on the Life of Christ. For example:
Alban Goodier’s The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Fulton Sheen’s The Life of Christ
Frank Sheed’s To Know Christ Jesus
Romano Guardini’s The Lord
• Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s 74-page section on prayer. (Section four; less than two pages a day!)
• Visit a nursing home with your children.
• Forgive someone and patch things up in a visit, or, if necessary, by phone or letter.
• Give up gossip, judging or profanity.
• Find one “act of forgiveness” to make every day: A driver who cuts you off, a co-worker who annoys you, a shopper who cuts in line, a store clerk who is rude or a family member who ignores your needs.
• Say a kind word to everyone you meet.
• Pay a significant compliment (or more!) to each of your children every day.
• Offer to watch the children of a new mother one day a week throughout Lent.
• Visit an elderly friend or relative.
• Save up a significant amount of money for a deserving charity or apostolate.
For Children and Teens
If none of the adult ideas work for you, try:
• Do chores without complaining
• Draw pictures of Holy Week events.
• Restrict your TV, Internet or music time.
• Restrict your phone time.
• Send a letter or picture to a grandmother, aunt or Godparent.
• Make a new friend outside your “crowd.”
• Be a friend to a shy person .
• Give up that bad place, person or thing.
• Choose a favorite toy, book or piece of clothing and put it away until Easter.
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
NC Register ^ TOM HOOPES