Preparation For Lent
Spend some quiet time in prayer and reflect on your life since the beginning of the year. ( ideally, spend a Holy Hour in Adoration at an Adoration chapel such as at Holy Redeemer or Schoensttat doing this)
- Reflect on the message of the Sunday Gospel readings so far for this year by reading Matthew Ch 3 (who is Jesus?) and Matthew Ch4-7 (Christ’s design for life in God’s Kingdom- the Beatitudes) .
- Consider: How well have I lived according to these teachings? Journal your thoughts/prayers.
- Make a good examination of conscience and a sincere act of contrition.
- Consider: in which areas of my Christian life I need to grow, or what virtues am I lacking? (perseverance, patience, courage, humility, gentleness, piety, respectfulness, purity/chastity, self-control, compassion, honesty, mercifulness etc. choose an a virtue/ virtues which need to grow and write it in your journal. Refer to this daily in Lent and ask your Guardian angel to help you to recognise when, in your day, God is placing before you opportunities to practice this virtue. (warning: if you pray for an increase in a virtue, God does not just give it to us without any effort from us – He allows us opportunities to develop that virtue. Hence, Lent is known as a time of testing. The devil hates Lent and does not want us to grow in virtue and will tempt us) God has promised us that He will give us what we need to grow in our Christian life (see Matthew ch7 v7-11)
- Make resolutions for Lent.
- Consider: How am I going to grow in these areas? Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The purpose of these is to give us the graces that we require in order to grow in our spiritual life and love of God and neighbour.
2. Go to Confession
Go to CONFESSION as near to the beginning of Lent as possible. By starting with a clear conscience and clean soul, we are far more likely to succeed. (confessions at Constantia parish are available at the times in the bulletin. If these times are not convenient, Holy Redeemer has confessions on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings. In this way, we can begin Lent strengthened with the grace of God’s forgiveness and having thoroughly examined our consciences.
3. Make Additional Spiritual Devotions in Lent
Preferably, with the guidance of your Spiritual director or Confessor, make a commitment for additional times for Spiritual devotions during Lent, in order to attain the graces needed to grow in the areas that you have identified (in making your resolutions for Lent). Ideas below
Set regular daily family prayer times and private prayer times: make theStations of the Cross, at home as a family at least once a week – we often do a few stations each day during our night-time prayers. Attend special services organised by the parish during Lent. Pray the rosary or part thereof daily. Go toMass during the week. Make a weekly Holy Hour at Schoensttat or Holy Redeemer adoration chapels. Attend confession regularly. Take extra care in preparing for Holy Mass – pray the prayers at the front of your missal under “preparation for Mass”, arrive early and pray, study the readings before you attend Holy Mass (can be anytime during the week); take care how you dress taking into consideration that it is Christ’s house you are entering and you are privileged to be invited – dress smartly, and girls and women wear modest clothes – no shorts and mini skirts – it is a distraction to the opposite sex). Keep in mind, the purpose of devotions and novenas is to give us the graces we and those for whom we offer the novenas, need to attain holiness. See website below for more ideas on prayer. If there is no love in our hearts and a sincere desire to live a life of holiness, these prayers are empty.
Stations of The Cross
Stations of the Cross in your Block
Here's an innovative and very personal way to contemplate the stations of the cross. How about creating your own stations in your street. Take a look at how you can do this here.
Stations of Cross for Children
Stations of The Cross for Children Hosted by the Mother's Group
Good Friday, April 22 10:00 am at Schoenstatt
This can be fasting from any unnecessary foods and drinks, eg: desserts, eating between meals, from coffee, tea, alcohol, cooldrinks, by eating vegetarian foods only during Lent or for a few days per week, eating simply as the simple live, not eating out etc.
Other forms of fasting can be to abstain from watching T.V.; video games; facebook; going to movies or theatre, getting up late on a weekend morning,– anything that we might think is taking time away from us that could better be spent bringing glory to God or that we would find a sacrifice.
The idea is to first seek the Kingdom of God by refraining from luxuries and carnal comforts in order to become detached from worldly pleasures, and instead to seek consolation and comfort from Our Lord and increase our appreciation of our dependence on His grace. By fasting we practice the virtues of self-control and perseverance, and these help us greatly in growing in holiness. See website below for more ideas on practicing self denial in Lent.
To be effective this should involve sacrifice.For example: If the family has decided to eat simply without unnecessary extras, or we are accustomed to eating out often, or spending money on luxuries, and comforts, weekends away, alcohol etc. the money that would normally be used for these purposes could be given to the Bishop’s Advent Appeal, charity, missionary work, parish project, having Masses said for those loved ones who have passed away or for people who are suffering etc.. One can also fulfil this aspect by sacrificing our time (time is money. right?) by works of service, whether it be to a younger or older family member (even helping a sibling with homework or Mom with supper), visiting the elderly, caring for the sick or abandoned, helping the less fortunate in any way that we may feel called. Basically it should be something meaningful and do-able.
- The following website is invaluable in guiding families in living out the liturgical year.
- This is a great link to find out more about Lent - its history, the traditions, prayers and more
- Why ashes on Ash Wednesday?
- What are the official rules for fasting and abstinence?
- Why do we give things up for Lent?
- What are the Scrutinies?
- Should I go to Confession during Lent?
- What are the "three pillars of Lent"?
- Why Stations of the Cross?
- Why Palms on Palm Sunday?
- When does Lent end?
- What is the Triduum?
- How are Lent and Baptism connected?
- Why meatless Fridays?
- Are Sundays part of Lent?
- Are chicken and fish considered meat?
- What feasts are celebrated during Lent?
- What determines the date Easter Sunday falls on or when Lent begins?
- What does the word Lent mean?
Holy Redeemer Church - Thursdays @ 7:30 pm
March 10th Introduction (Invitatory Psalm 95) Fr Sean
March 17th Psalms of Praise (Psalm 136) Fr Tyrone
March 24th Pilgrimage Psalms (Psalm 121) Br Richard
March 31st Psalms of Sickness (Psalm 16) Dc Morris
April 7th Penitential Psalms (Psalm 51) Fr Sean
April 14th Messianic Psalms (Psalm 110) Fr Tyrone
Mass & Confession Times
Daily Reflections for Lent
Would you like to receive a prayerful reflection by e-mail every day during Lent? The Jesuit Institute and the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office will be sending reflections to our MPs throughout Lent and they will e-mail them to you as well, for free. Just send your name, e-mail address, cell number and parish name to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive these daily reflections.
What Are You Giving Up For Lent?
Visit facebook page called 'I'm giving it up for Lent', a community seriously (and sometimes not so serious) sharing reflections and meditations for Lent.
Let us know what you are giving up for lent by contacting us here and we'll post your comments on this page (all comments will be moderated)