Hero photograph
Photo by Rebecca Methven

Lent is a wonderful season in the Church calendar

Rebecca Methven —

– time set aside to renew and prepare ourselves to receive the fullness of life in the resurrection.

Did you know?

The forty days of Lent, taken from the forty days Jesus spent in the desert, do not include Sundays – the day Christians celebrate the Resurrection. Forty is a symbolic number in the Hebrew scriptures: it signifies an irreversible event, something from which there is no turning back.

Top Ten Lenten Promises

Things to Surrender

  1. Grumpiness – irritability is a choice. We can choose to be grumpy and hang on to our right to be foul-tempered, or we can choose to be pleasant and good humoured.
  2. Blame – when things go wrong, stop looking for a scapegoat. Practice acceptance and responsibility.
  3. Superiority – A judgmental attitude is like a rotting corpse – it spreads it’s bile over everyone in criticism and put downs.
  4. Gossip – resist taking delight in someone else’s failure. Protect their reputation and let the bad news stop with you.
  5. Vanity – give up self-obsession and the fantasy that the world revolves around you. Start revolving your life around God and you’ll find more joy than you ever dreamed.
  6. Self-pity – everyone has to deal with setbacks and disappointments. Self-pity won’t change your circumstances; it just makes you feel powerless.
  7. Resentment – unforgiveness and resentment hangs over a person’s life like dark thunder clouds. It makes your life gloomy and your presence unpleasant. It’s not worth the cost.
  8. Tiredness – if you’re always tired, go to bed early. Be self-disciplined and resist the TV, internet or other recreation that steals your sleep. And if you choose not to, then at least stop whining about how tired you are! (Parents of young children exempted!)
  9. Busyness – you have all the time you could ever need for the things that are important to you. Stop using a lack of time as an excuse for neglecting relationships or your health.
  10. Cynicism – it’s easier to be cynical than it is to be optimistic and hope-filled. Take the path less travelled.

Things to Embrace

  1. Tongue biting – practice restraint and humility. Let the criticism die in your month, let someone else speak first, give others space to voice their opinion.
  2. Early Rising – If your day is too busy for God, rise early to enjoy a few quite moments together.
  3. Half-serves – we really don’t need nearly as much food/clothing/music/TV/stuff as we think. Practice taking half serves and let hunger bite occasionally.
  4. Secret Giving – there are so many in need – be generous, then double it …and enjoy God’s blessings.
  5. Apologise – seek unity in all circumstances. Apologise when you have wronged someone… even when they started it!
  6. Forgive and let live – set yourself free. Forgive someone against whom you hold a grudge. Let them go. Let yourself go. And start living again.
  7. Gratitude – give thanks every day, all day. Thank God, thank others. Gratitude is one of the most effective ways to lift your spirit and increase your awareness of God’s presence.
  8. Blessing – bless those you love. Bless those you dislike. Bless those you envy. Bless God for the joys. Bless God for the sorrows. In all things, bless.
  9. Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) – nothing will inspire more delicious delight than doing an RAK – compliment a stranger, assist an elderly person, top up the parking meter, bring sunshine into someone’s life.
  10. Listen – stop talking and listen…to your spouse, to your children, to the lonely neighbour, to the homily, to the sounds of creation, to God’s word in your life.