Ten Suggestions You Can Begin Living Today!

As we approach the Easter Vigil, it’s a time for deep reflection and spiritual renewal. Here are some additional practices you might consider to honor the Lord and draw closer to His perfect Heart:

  1. Increased Prayer: Set aside extra time each day for prayer, perhaps incorporating additional devotions such as the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, or meditative prayer on the Passion of Christ. Offer prayers for yourself, those in need, and the world at large. This prayer time can take place by visiting the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament or even in your home.  Check out Pray Fully if you are looking for a great book to learn how to pray. https://www.inspirethefaith.com/pray-fully-resource-page/
  2. Fasting: Consider intensifying your fasting or sacrificing something else meaningful to you during this Lenten season, such as alcohol, sweets, snacks between meals, and even such items as “condiments” and/or cream in your coffee.  Or focus on your meal size and eat less! Now is the time to overcome the world of “foodies,” where our daily thoughts revolve around our next bite to eat and “us.” Fasting is a powerful way to grow closer to Jesus.
  3. Acts of Sacrifice: This could involve giving up a habit such as sleeping past your alarm, a comfort like an excess amount of pillows and blankets in your bed, or an indulgence like drive-through coffee or your professional nail care and instead of giving that money to the poor. The goal is to unite yourself more closely to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and focus on growing closer to the Lord. The key to this act of sacrifice is that it is done with a great attitude! Maybe turn off your secular music and listen to Christian music or Catholic Radio like www.Stgabrielradio.com.
  4. Charitable Giving: Increase your acts of almsgiving by donating to those in need, volunteering your time and resources to charitable organizations, or reaching out to individuals who could benefit from your support and kindness. Consider doubling your weekly donation to your parish, support your local crisis pregnancy center, support the work I am doing to renew homes one heart at a time through devotion to the Sacred Heart at www.WelcomeHIsHeart.com/donate or find a local convent or religious community that can benefit from your donation.
  5. Sacramental Participation: Attend Mass more frequently, particularly during Holy Week, and receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist with a contrite and open heart. These sacraments can provide spiritual nourishment and grace to help you grow closer to God. When we seek Christ in the Sacraments, He forgives, restores, and heals us!
  6. Spiritual Reading and Reflection: Spend time each day reading Scripture, spiritual writings, or works by the saints that deepen your understanding of Christ’s love and sacrifice. Reflect on how these teachings can be applied to your own life and relationships. I love the daily readings that come in here: https://bible.usccb.org/
  7. Acts of Love and Kindness: Look for opportunities to show love and kindness to those around you, especially to those who may be difficult to love or who are in need of compassion and support. Consider making a meal for a new parent or an elderly person shut in or even assisting with yard cleaning for a person in need. When we give of ourselves and teach our children to do the same, we can give of ourselves in a way that bears great fruit. Check out Divine Mercy for Moms to learn more about serving others and sharing the Works of Mercy with others. https://www.inspirethefaith.com/divine-mercy-for-moms/ (This site has a full book study and free items like printables).
  8. Silent Contemplation: Set aside moments of quiet and solitude to be present with God, allowing Him to speak to your heart and guide you on your spiritual journey. Just focus on “being with God.” Don’t think of your wants, needs, or desires; sit with God and ask Him to show you His love. Just be with the Lord. I highly recommend that you visit the Lord while the church is empty and spend time with Him before the Blessed Sacrament.
  9. Focus on your Heart: Give Christ your heart in a new way! Ask Him to change it with His most perfect love. What is holding you back from the Love of Christ? When we encounter the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all the areas of our lives are impacted, including our hearts and even our relationships, as we engage with others differently. I wrote about this in Holy Habits from the Sacred Heart. 
  10. Ditch negative words and complaining- truly, what good are they anyway? Try to be more positive and even reflective on what you speak and how you share it. Imagine if you couldn’t complain at the end of the day. Would your family notice this right away?

As we enter the final weeks of Lent and prepare to celebrate the joy of Christ’s resurrection at Easter, we must deepen our commitment to these practices of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and sacramental participation. These weeks offer us a valuable opportunity to intensify our spiritual journey, drawing closer to God and opening our hearts to His transformative grace. May these final weeks of Lent be a time of profound spiritual growth and renewal for all of us as we eagerly anticipate the glorious celebration of Easter and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.