The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, penitence, conversion, and simplicity. This season can be viewed from the perspective of Stewardship: it is spiritual spring cleaning—a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to Him. The season of Lent begins with a symbol of repentance: receiving ashes on our foreheads. To reflect this, our interior life should lead us toward greater dependence on God’s mercy and grace and less attachment to those things which distract us from living as stewards of God’s gifts.
Making a Great Lent! There are three traditional spiritual practices that serve as the foundation of Lenten penance: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These disciplines should be practiced throughout the year, but are given special prominence during Lent.
Prayer: Lent is a good time to develop or strengthen a discipline of daily prayer. Weekday Masses and the Stations of the Cross are also great ways to draw closer to God during Lent. We also have Benediction celebrated every Friday morning at 10:00am. If it is your piety, perhaps saying the Rosary.
Fasting: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of universal fast and abstinence. Fasting allows a person to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may be taken, not to equal one full meal. Further, all Fridays in Lent are days of complete abstinence (from meat). If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the "paschal fast" to honor the suffering and death of our Lord, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily His Resurrection.
Almsgiving (Charity): While Lent is about giving something up (i.e. fasting), it is also about putting something positive in its place. The best way to remove vice is to cultivate virtue. Lent has been a traditional time of helping the poor and doing acts of charity and mercy. While as Christians this is a year-round calling, Lent is a good time to examine ways to get involved and to make resolutions to actually do them.
Through our works of prayer, fasting, and abstinence, let us heed the prophet Joel's exhortation to return to God with our whole heart (2:12). Below are some of the past Lenten topics.
Parables of Jesus
Dr. Kenneth Baily
Jesus' Resurrection Then and Now
The Rt. Rev'd. N.T. Wright
The Good Samaritan
The Prodigal Son [The Lost Younger Son]
The Prodigal Son [The Lost Older Son]
The Rich FoolPilate and the Tower
[Link to the course description]
The Historical Jesus
Jesus the Resurrected Messiah
The Jewish Understanding of Resurrection
The Gospel Writers' Understand of Jesus' Resurection
Paul's Understanding of Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus's Resurrection today
A Life Worth Living
Fr. Nicky Gumble
Based on St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians
New Heart Philippians 1:1-11
New Purpose Philippians 1:12-30
New Attitude Philippians 2:1-11
New Responsibility Philippians 2:12-18
New Friemdship Philippians 2:19-30
New Confidence Philippians 3:1-9
New Ambition Philippians 3:10-21
New Resources Philippians 4:1-9
New Generosity Philippians 4:10-23
40 Days of Purpose
The Rev'd Rick Warren
What On Earth Am I Here For?
Worship: You were Planned For God's Pleasure
Fellowship: You Were Formed For God's Family
Discipleship: You Were Created To Be Like Christ
Ministry: You Were Shaped For Serving God
Evangelism: You Were Made For Mission
The Great Adventure: Bible Timeline
How to read the Bible
Covenant and the Patriachs
Egypt and Exodus, and the Desert Wanderings
Conquest and Judges and the Royal Kingdom
The Divided Kingdom
Return from Exile and the Maccabean Revolt
Messianic Fulfillment and the Church
Search For Significance
Dr. Robert McGee
"Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes"
The Performance Trap
The Blame Game
Agent of Change