Lent 2012

Lent is not an easy time of year for many people. A friend of mine lost his father several years ago during Lent and his brother who suffers from a mental illness usually ends up hospitalized at this time of year. My concern always turns to his brother's well being as well as his own strength at this time. We have been very fortunate as a family that Lent has been interesting and fun.

For most of my life, I attended Catholic school. (Pretty much from Kindergarten through the end of college.) As a child, my grade school had us fill Operation Rice Bowl mite boxes. Being one of four, we used to compete with each other to see whose mite box would be fullest at the end of Lent. This was just one way that Lent became fun.

Lent, for Catholics, includes fasting and abstaining from meat on Fridays. Despite the fact that the official ruling is that you don't have abstain from meat until you are 14, we participated as a family as soon as we were eating solid foods. I'm sure it was easier for my mother but, it also taught us that this was something that we did for Lent as a family.

Fasting/abstaining from meat was one of the things that made Lent interesting to us a kids because it was another change of pace. For a period of time, our church would host "Soup Suppers" on Friday nights. Families would cook large batches of soup and we would all gather in the parish center to have dinner together.

This year my plan for Lent is to pray daily for our seminarians. This is a bit selfish but, right now my prayer life is practically nonexistent and I thought it would be a good place to start since my brother is currently studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy.

O Lord Jesus Christ, great High Priest, I pray that You call many worthy souls to Your holy priesthood. 
Enlighten our Bishop in the choice of candidates, the Spiritual Director in molding them, and the professors in instructing them.
Lead the seminarians daily in Your unerring footsteps;
so that they may become priests who are models of purity, possessors of wisdom and heroes of sacrifice;
steeped in humility and aflame with love for God and man; apostles of Your glory and sanctifiers of souls.


Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us.

Fasting will be a bit more difficult because usually I give up caffeine (something I truly loved prior to pregnancy). This year I will keep a gratitude journal for forty days logging one or  more things I am grateful for each day. I will continue to abstain from meat on Fridays. (If you need ideas, this is great website.)

As the final pillar of Lent, I will donate my time to run at least one after school activity for students at work.

How will you be keeping this Lent?

Equipping Catholic Families


  1. Great ideas, and thanks for posting the prayer for seminarians!

  2. Thank you for this post.

    God bless you and yours.