Saturday, February 28, 2009

What are you doing for Lent?

We are all familiar, no doubt, with the tradition of taking up some penance for Lent -- i.e. giving something up. This is a beautiful tradition, and to be encouraged.

Another good practice is to pick up some good spiritual practice, be it a devotion, daily spiritual reading, or otherwise.

Perhaps one might read The Ladder of St. John of Climacus for instance or some other saintly writing of particular Lenten merit. Perhaps you might read Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year each day during the Lenten season. You might choose to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a devotion which is particularly focused upon the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Or you might choose to somehow tie the Seven Penitential Psalms into your day to day Lenten practice. Maybe reading and meditating upon one psalm, each of the seven days of the week.

Of course, while all of these things are of great merit, given the primacy of the liturgy in our life of prayer, I cannot but help recommend some practices which are even more directly related to the liturgy of the Church.

Perhaps you might consider praying the Divine Office to some extent. Perhaps pray Lauds (Morning Prayer), Vespers (Evening Prayer), or Compline (Night Prayer), or some combination thereof.

Another liturgical consideration would be to read from and meditate upon the day to day entries found within the Roman Martyrology.

Another possibility is take up the idea of Lectio Divina and undertake slow and meditative reading of the Propers of the Masses during Lent, or the various readings from Mass of the day.

There are many possibilities. Perhaps some of our readers would like to share what they are doing, or their own recommendations and considerations. (Please use the comments.)

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: