Life as a Dominican is rooted in four areas, what we typically call the four pillars: prayer, study, common life, and ministry. Based on these pillars, we’ve developed four tips to help you have a better Lent. They all require a little bit of time, but with a little bit of effort they are all possible.
Tip #1: Prayer
Spend more time with the Lord in prayer. If you can’t make it to Mass every day, then try to spend at least ½ an hour in silence each day. You might also consider signing up for Eucharistic adoration, or praying the Stations of the Cross once a week. If you like to exercise, then think about praying the rosary while you run or jog on the elliptical machine.
Tip #2: Study
Spend time reading and studying the Bible each day. There are lots of stories that are fitting for Lent. “Noah and the Flood” can be found in Genesis 6:9 – 9:17. The Book of Exodus, which tells the story of Moses and the 10 Commandments, has 40 chapters. Read at least one each day of Lent and you’ll be done by Easter. The Book of Lamentations, which is only 5 chapters, is attributed to the prophet Jeremiah. We pray these sad songs during Tenebrae starting on Holy Thursday. And of course, any of the Gospels would be appropriate. Mark is the shortest, but Matthew, Luke and John have more parables and miracles.
Tip #3: Common Life
Spend less time on social media, and spend more time being social face-to-face. Think about inviting a friend out for a walk, or to have a picnic in the park. Better yet, invite someone to Mass, or to Stations of the Cross. You never know what impact your presence may have on someone else, but Scripture tells us that where two or three are gathered in His name, the Lord is present.
Tip #4: Ministry
Spend more time doing something for others. Sign up to serve meals at your local homeless shelter, or gather supplies for the food bank. If you don’t have a lot of time to take on more activities, think about how your wealth can benefit others. Everyone gives up something for Lent. Consider donating the money you would have spent on your daily coffee to your favorite charity instead.
May the Lord bless you during this holy season, as you grow closer to him and the celebration of his resurrection at Easter.
–Br. Michael James Rivera, OP