Briar Cliff Lenten Promises

February 15, 2023

Information about Lent, Lenten Promises, and other things to keep in mind.  

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops website describes Lent as “a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday.”

As Jesus wandered for 40 days in the desert surviving on faith alone, so we are called to use this time before we celebrate Easter to deepen our faith. This 40-day window between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is an opportunity for us to practice self-discipline and resolve to abstain from or do something to help us grow as people, as Christians, and strengthen our understanding. This period of sacrifice helps us to appreciate the gifts that God has given us, included his only son, Jesus, and the sacrifices he made so that we might live with free will.  

In Katie Warner's article, 2023 Lent Guide for Families, she says “Lent is not really about anything you do or read, buy or try. The aim of Lent is increased spiritual fervor — a refocusing on prayer, fasting and almsgiving, which should always be a strong part of the Christian walk, but are highlighted in our lives in a special way during Lent.”

Whether you are Catholic or not, everyone can participate in Lent and make a Lenten promise for themselves. Below are some of our Briar Cliff favorite ideas to help you get started in developing your Lenten promise(s).

Top Ten Briar Cliff Lenten Promises:

  1. Spend 45 minutes in the Walsh Fitness Center and 15 minutes in the Chapel of our Lady of Grace every week day.
  2. Writing… AND DELIVERING… two handwritten “thank you” notes a week. Learn How-To Write a Meaningful Note. 
  3. Abstain from alcohol or other drugs.
  4. Volunteer for a shift of 3-5 hours a week for the next 5 weeks and maybe beyond. Explore opportunities on-campus and in the community.
  5. Attend one Mass (or service of your choice) a week. Explore on-campus or off campus options. 
  6. Pray a rosary before picking up your remote or switch to enjoy some downtime.
  7. Be intentional about maintaining positive friendship/relationships.
  8. Participate in the Station of the Cross and/or a Fish Fry event. 
  9. Reading a devotional, the bible, or other reflective book daily.
  10. Abstain from eating meat on Fridays. But why?

Although it’s consistently up for some debate, we have all heard a phrase like this one “it takes 30-days to break/make a habit.” In our mind, Lent is the New Year’s resolution season of the of the Catholic Church, just with a more exact focus. Different from a traditional new year’s resolution, Lent has a precise 40-day window for you make a change that helps you grow in faith or make space in your life to live out your faith.   

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