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Feb 19, 2020

3 Essential Practices for the Lenten Season

Dr. Edward Sri

What are the three essential practices that all Catholics are called to embrace during the Lenten Season? What does the desert have to do with these practices?  

This Lenten season, let’s commit wholeheartedly to the three disciplines of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. By doing so, we go into the desert of our hearts to encounter our Lord and hear his spirit prompting, challenging, and encouraging us.  

Snippet from the Show

Fasting isn’t about proving how disciplined we are to God; it’s an act of love. God doesn’t simply want our discipline—he wants our hearts.


Why the desert?

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.”

Matthew 4:1-2

Why is God constantly leading people into the desert? There’s no food, no water, and it’s extremely desolate. However, it’s in that solitude that we recognize our thirst for God’s heart and can unite ourselves in relationship with him, away from the distractions of life

“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not.”

Deuteronomy 8:2

The 3 Main Practices of Lent

1. Fasting:

Fasting allows us to make room in our hearts for Jesus, creating space to encounter him. Fasting doesn’t just have to be about food! (e.g. You could fast from screens, a specific show, video games, etc.)

“But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:17-18

2. Prayer:

Try adding more prayer to your day, whether it’s going to daily Mass, sitting with the Scriptures, or adding an extra fifteen minutes of chapel time to your day. 

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:6

3. Almsgiving:

Almsgiving isn’t just about giving money! Almsgiving is simply encountering Christ in the poor by being generous with our time, possessions, and love. 

“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:3-4

Resources: 

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