Pray, Fast, Give – Top Lenten Resources for 2014

By now, your feeds are likely clogged with the BuzzFeed quiz that will tell you what to give up for lent… and what city you should live in and your Saved by the Bell character and your Hogwarts House. But just in case you’re sick of being a Hufflepuff alum living in Seattle with the personality of Kelly Kapowski, we’ve got a few ideas to help you go a little deeper this Lent.

Lent is all about repentance and renewal. But it isn’t really that complicated. In fact, we can sum it up in three simple words: Pray, Fast, and Give.  We’ve divided our top resources this Lent into those three categories.

CHAINFOTO24/Shutterstock

Praying Hands

Pray

Moved to Greater Love

This year the Jesuits of the United States area running a 9 week digital prayer experience.  Daily reflections and scripture readings are delivered right to your inbox each evening so you can prepare for the next day. Sign up and join all your favorite SJs around the country who will be using the same reflections this Lent and Easter.

Pray-As-You-Go – Lent Retreat

Our go-to podcast, pray-as-you go is always a solid choice.  The good folks at Jesuit Media Initiatives provide a daily podcast reflection complete with music and the enchanting voices of our friends in the across the pond1, it’s a great way to slow down and take some time out for God.  This Lent they’ve teamed up with Sacred Space to offer a Lenten retreat with weekly reflections.

CHAINFOTO24/Shutterstock

Fasting Hands

Fast

UNICEF Tap Project

Think you could fast from using your smartphone during Lent? Yeah, us neither. Think you could do it maybe just for a little time every day? What if by fasting from your smartphone you could actually make a difference for others? Unicef, in partnership with Giorgio Armani,2 is challenging you to put down your phone–and for every 10 minutes you stay away their sponsors will make a donation to clean water initiatives.

Carbon Fast Lenten Calendar

If you live in a highly industrialized part of the world your carbon footprint is pretty big.  Consider a carbon fast this lent. The Catholic Climate Covenant is promoting  a great Lenten calendar created by the Archdiocese of Washington. The calendar includes a new suggestion each day to help you to become more aware of your resource usage and encourage you to fast from all that climate changing carbon.  Added bonus, it’s digital and doesn’t require killing trees, until you print it that is… sinner!3

Protasov AN/Shutterstock

Giving Hands

Give

Operation Rice Bowl – Catholic Relief Services

If you grew up in a Catholic parish – in the United States at least – you probably remember Operation Rice Bowl and the little cardboard bowls that you could add your loose change to as a fundraiser for Catholic Relief Services. This being 2014, Operation Rice Bowl has gone digital with a downloadable app so you can give generously while you’re reducing your carbon footprint – well, for those of you not fasting from your smartphones, at least.

But really, there are as many ways to give during Lent as there are readers of TJP, which is to say, at least five. We’ve listed a few for you below:

Bread for the World

Jesuit Refugee Services

Catholic Charities USA

Ignatian Spirituality Project

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Editors note: Our original post credited Catholic Climate Covenant with the development of the Carbon Fast Calendar.  That calendar is promoted by the Catholic Climate Covenant and was developed by the Archdiocese Washington Care for Creation Committee.

  1. How is it possible that english accents make the best villains and the best reflection readers?  Shouldn’t they be mutually exclusive?
  2. That’s right, our Lenten guide includes a reference to Armani.  The modern globalized world is a complicated place.
  3. Don’t worry, we’re right there with you in that sinner camp.  You can check your local parish for opportunities for confession – another great lenten practice.

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