Are you ready for Lent? These 40 days tend to sneak up on us. As you prepare for this season, Fr. Mike has some valuable advice and information for you before the journey begins.
Preparing for Lent
What is still in your life that can’t be in your life if you want to follow Jesus? In this video, Fr. Mike explains the purpose of Lent, what prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are, and challenges us to grow more fruitfully and purposefully during this season.
Picking a Thing for Lent
Are you still deciding what to do for Lent? If so, this video should help you figure it out! Fr. Mike offers helpful tips on determining what sacrifice is right for you this year. He reminds us that the trick isn’t to do something extraordinary or overly difficult but to do something necessary.
What’s the Purpose of Lent?
It’s great to have an answer for what you’ll do for Lent, but did you forget the why? Why do we spend 40 days every year praying, fasting, and almsgiving? In this video, Fr. Mike discusses where this season comes from and how today’s practices and experiences draw us all the way back to the Israelites in the Book of Exodus.
Where Is Lent in the Bible?
In this quick video, Fr. Mike answers all the most common questions Catholics have about Lent. He explains where this season began, the significance of the number 40, why we still practice it today, and how to make the most of these coming weeks.
How to Start Strong and Stay Strong
It’s pretty easy to start the season of Lent off well. You’re excited to begin this time of growth, and you’ve picked your sacrifices carefully. The real challenge, Fr. Mike reminds us, is staying strong. How can we persevere through these 40 days? Fr. Mike has some suggestions and reminders as we begin our journey into the desert.
The Significance of Ash Wednesday
Whether you’re the type to embrace the ashes or subtly rub them off, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our pilgrimage. What is the significance of this day, though? Fr. Mike explains the deeper meaning behind the crosses on our foreheads and how this day reminds us of repentance and conversion.
4 Reasons for Fasting
We know fasting is a big part of Lent, but why exactly do we do it? In this video, Fr. Mike offers 4 reasons to fast. You’ll learn the purpose of this practice and the benefits of self-mastery as you implement this pillar into your sacrifices this year.
Fasting Can Change You Forever
Continuing our exploration into fasting, Fr. Mike also offers this video explaining how this practice can truly change your life. We learn that fasting isn’t just about strengthening our will and showing God how much we love him, but it’s about freeing ourselves from unnecessary desires.
Going to Confession for the First Time in a Long Time
One of the most important ways to prepare your heart and soul for Lent is to go to Confession before and during the season. It can be daunting, especially if you haven’t been in a while, but Fr. Mike explains that this sacrament is a never-ending place for love, mercy, and forgiveness.
4 Reasons Catholics Must Give Alms This Lent
What exactly does “giving alms” mean, and why is it a Lenten pillar? Watching this will answer all your alms questions and provide you with enough information to discern how God is calling you to be a joyful giver this Lent.
If Lent Doesn’t Make You Feel Good…
This video reminds us of the true purpose of our sacrifices. It’s okay not to feel joyful during this season, but it is important to work to become more like Christ. Fr. Mike addresses the upcoming pains, discouragements, and difficulties and encourages us to look beyond ourselves during this time.
Lent is a Process—Not an Event
Conversion and repentance usually take time. Turning our hearts away from sin and re-focusing them on God is a process that usually takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication. Here Fr. Mike reminds us that participating in Lent doesn’t necessarily mean spontaneous conversion, instead, we should embrace and trust the process.
How to Live This Lent for Others
In this video, Fr. Mike discusses how, ironically, you can actually dedicate yourself too much to praying, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent. This happens when we focus on ourselves and our sacrifices while forgetting our brothers and sisters in the process. The trick to living this Lent for others and not for ourselves involves a little something called generosity.
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Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz
Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
He is a presenter in Ascension’s Chosen, Altaration, and The 99 programs, and has a channel on Ascension Presents. He is also the host of the Ascension podcasts The Bible in a Year and The Catechism in a Year.