Lent begins Wednesday, March 6, 2019 – so we, as Catholics, have less than two weeks to decide upon the penitential gift we want to give our Lord this Easter. To give you ideas and, we hope, some inspiration, “Inside EWTN” asked employees, hosts and friars to share what they believe was their best Lenten penance ever – and to explain why they feel it made a difference in their lives.
Please let us know if any of these ideas inspire you. We would also love it if you would share the Lenten penance that made the biggest difference in your own life!
Marie White, Accounting: “My best Lenten penance was becoming a Committed Adorer at my local parish. Our Adoration Chapel is open 24/7, and I used to think I was too busy with extracurricular activities to make this commitment work. Now, after almost a year of belonging to His faithful army of Adorers, I realize that I have grown much closer to Christ and that I was missing out on spending more time with Him!”
Catherine Hadro, Host of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly: “One year, I gave up secular music while driving. I either listened to Christian music or drove in silence; it gave me more opportunities for prayer! Last year, I decided to write one handwritten letter a day to a family member or friend during Lent; it enabled me to tell my loved ones how much I cherish them!
Ximena Izquierdo de Rivas, Media Missionary Manager for Latin America and Spain: “For me, the best penance that started with Lent was to quit drinking Coke! My mom is addicted to Coca-Cola , so I decided to offer this penance to ask for her healing [from a disease for which sugar is a problem] and to stand in solidarity with her. But after Easter, thanks be to God, I was able to continue that penance for the whole year! Now, I don’t drink Coke except on super special occasions!”
Debbie P., EWTN News, Inc. Advertising: “This year I plan to get a large trash bag and, every day, take something I no longer use, or have too many of, and put it into the bag so at the end of the 40 days, I can give it to someone else so they can benefit from the item(s). I’m very blessed and would like to help others. It would help declutter my life and help me focus more on God’s message of being more Christ-like in giving and sharing.”
Fr. Matthew Mary, MFVA, Director of Pilgrimage: “The best penance I ever did was giving up all social media. It is very challenging, and yet very rewarding. We tend to become too dependent upon social media [so much so] that it begins to affect our spiritual life. This can be a good opportunity to detach from the need for continual input and to focus on developing our relationship with God by sitting quietly in the presence of the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration.”
Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency / EWTN News: “Every Lent I commit to saying the Office of the Readings and one hour [Matins, Vespers, etc.] of the Liturgy of the Hours. It is a beautiful way to bring prayer and Scripture into Lent, while making sure I better sacrifice my time for God.”
Tom Graye, Radio: “The best Lenten penance that I ever did was to quit smoking! I did it ‘cold-turkey’ after asking the Holy Spirit to help me. It certainly helped me grow closer to Jesus, not to mention the health advantages. I haven’t had a cigarette for 15 years!!!”
Anonymous EWTN Employee: “My best Lenten practice was the Lent that I decided to go to Daily Mass at 6:30 a.m. Yes, it meant that I had to get us SO much earlier! Yes, it meant that I did not get to hear the morning news programs. But, what life-changing joy! So many mornings, I heard readings that I did not recall ever hearing before and each reading seemed to be selected just for me and the issue that was troubling me! I found that my stressful workdays seemed to go by more smoothly and when [things go wrong] I can bear the stress much better. Why didn’t someone tell me how wonderful it was to go to Daily Mass?
“I wonder what this next Lent will bring?”
Note: Looking for some great Lenten reading? Click here: https://bit.ly/2IAlovv. “Inside EWTN’s” personal favorite: “In Conversation With God – Vol 2: Lent & Easter: Daily Meditations by Francis Fernandez.” Check it out at https://bit.ly/2tD7sGu,
I love to read but during Lent, I only read the New Testament. The first year I did this, I was able to complete the entire New Teatament and it brought so much meaning to Holy Week.
During Lent for me is to remove myself from Facebook for the 6 weeks and I do it every year. It is then I find time to be more committed to my daily scriptures and reflections. This year I’m also a Lector at the 5:30p Mass. My life is blessed and I still find extra time to serve my Lord facilitating Bible Study and calling on the sick and lonely with patience and listening ear..thank you Jesus.
The best Lenten penance I ever did was to start going to one daily mass each week. I now attend daily mass almost every day and I really miss it if I cannot attend. It has made an enormous difference in my prayer life! What a gift to receive Jesus every day! Try it! You won’t ever be sorry!:)
A few years ago my church offered Vespers every Wednesday during Lent. Our Music Director has the most beautiful voice and was leading Vespers, so I decided to attend this extra service. My neighbor even agreed to meet me there! She doesn’t attend much so this was a blessing. I had to arrange to get off work early and brave HOUSTON traffic during rush hour to get there.
As it turned out, the congregation was assigned to sing different parts along with the leaders. Oh no! I was hoping for a beautiful concert and got mostly sing-a-long instead! I stuck with the plan, though I felt disappointed. The experience actually led me into closer relationship to Christ, my church and inspired me to also share my testimony and resources with others. Since then, my neighbor has gone to Mass on her own! Many blessings came out of that Lenten experience.
When younger, my parents had my brother, sisters & I to give up candy. I had to give up gum. Because I liked that more than candy. Now Ifind it hard what to give up. Because living on my own, w/ health challenges- I can’t go to church, fast food or restaurants as I’d like. Being unable to drive. Due to my epilepsy. So I will want to say the rosary more often & if work allows say prayers more throughout the day at work & home. I’ve asked for help from my church for help w/ transportation. In a letter-perfect I was told that they don’t provide that. I feel I give up quite a bit already. Missing out on physically attending Mass, receiving the Sacraments& getting to know & share time w/ fellow parishioners & brothers & sisters of Christ. Lord have mercy on me & help me in my need. Amen