10 ways to renew your life in Christ this Lent
ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 11, 2024 / 07:00 am
Lent is a time of conversion and penance that the Catholic Church offers to believers to prepare for and live the Easter triduum — the mystery of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
During the 40 days (this year Feb. 14–March 28), Catholics can set goals to grow in holiness and help others do the same. Here are 10 ways to evangelize and renew your life in Christ this Lent:
1. Receive Communion frequently.
Throughout Lent, attending Mass and receiving Communion is the most effective missionary and evangelizing act in which the faithful can participate.
St. John Paul II noted that the Eucharist contains within itself the “world’s principle and eternal source of salvation.” Therefore, Catholics should take advantage of its benefits as often as possible.
2. Pray more deeply.
Many Catholics ignore the importance of prayer in their lives. This season of Lent can be an excellent occasion to deepen our relationship with God through prayer. St. John of the Cross wrote: “Whoever flees prayer, flees all that is good.”
St. Ephrem offers a more practical perspective. For him, prayer forms virtues in our hearts — it protects us from anger, pride, and envy. Praying helps us die to ourselves to configure ourselves to Jesus, which is especially needed during Lent.
3. Commit to reading the Bible.
Pope Benedict XVI always asked Christians to commit to becoming familiar with the holy Scriptures. Incorporate the Bible into your daily prayer. It is, as the Catechism says, the primary source of our knowledge of God.
4. Go to confession!
Do not be afraid. Just go.
5. Help those in need.
The season of Lent invites the faithful to give our lives for others, especially for those most in need as did Christ, “who became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” There are thousands of Catholic charities around the world that need our help.
Jesus told us: “You will always have the poor with you” (Mt 26:11). This was an admonition to always take care of those less fortunate than ourselves. The poor are the treasure of the Church.
6. Cultivate your devotion to the Virgin Mary.
Mary serves as a perfect model for all Catholics: men, women, children, teenagers, mothers, busy professionals, students — anyone seeking to develop a more Christ-centered life during Lent.
7. Be a peacemaker.
Make peace with someone who you believe does not deserve respect, forgiveness, or a moment of consideration. If not, what exactly did Christ mean when he said we should forgive our enemies?
8. Meditate on the Stations of the Cross.
Most parishes offer the opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent. Accept this opportunity that God offers you to learn more about faith and about what’s missing in your spiritual life.
9. Stand up for Jesus Christ.
During Lent, make an extra effort to defend Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. When we are faced with intolerant, closed-minded, and anti-Christian opinions, it is incumbent upon us to teach and inform with love those we meet in our daily lives.
The world is becoming increasingly hostile toward Christians and Christianity. The love of Christ is the answer to ignorance, hatred, and intolerance. If not, what exactly do we believe as a community of faith?
10. Evangelize the people you meet along the way.
The advantages of evangelizing far outweigh the discomfort we might feel in sharing the Gospel with others. We have the opportunity to explain our beliefs to others who might not understand them, and with the Holy Spirit’s assistance, we may even convince others of the wisdom and reality of our beliefs. Trust in Christ and allow him to speak through you.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.