Lent is less than a week away. Doesn’t it feel like we just finished taking all the Christmas decorations down? Now it’s already time to start preparing spiritually for the 40 days of Lent. It is important to set aside some time to pray, discern, and listen in order to understand what is it that God wants you to do to grow closer to Him.
We’ve created a handy little quiz to help give you some direction: What Should You Give Up for Lent?. Most people will get a result that requires not so much giving up something, but doing something. Adding a prayer time, serving the poor, reading a spiritual book – these are all ways to achieve your spiritual goals.
In this day and age, we’ve got it easy in many ways. From websites to apps to books, there are hundreds of ways to add to your prayer life this Lent. Find one that suits your needs. I, personally, love the daily emails. I check my email every day so I’m sure to see it. I know others that make it a goal to read a book (or a few) during this holy season. We’ve compiled a list of our writers’ favorite Lenten resources. Please add your own favorite in the comments!
The Best Catholic Resources for Lent 2017
Catholic Apps (apps listed are free)
Pray 40 Days : Fr. Michael Denk created the Pray 40 Days app to set your prayer time on fire this Lent. This app will change your prayer life forever.
Xt3 Lent Calendar 2017 by Catholic Communications (Archdiocese of Sydney): “The Xt3 Lent Calendar will provide daily inspiration through videos, podcasts and reflections, as well as beautiful images all relating to the theme of mercy.”
Laudate: This app is wonderful year-round, not just during Lent. It provides the daily readings, reflections, and a vast collection of prayers.
Daily Text Messages
Flocknote : Flocknote is offering a daily Lenten reflection that you can choose to receive as either an email or text message.
Bringing Home Lent with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Reflections and Activities for Families: My family used this book to guide our Lent last year and we found it to be a great fit for our busy (young) family. Using Mother Teresa’s famous quote “small things with great love” the activities are just enough to lead both children and parents to truly understanding Lent.
The Way of Prayer: Is “an acclaimed commentary on Saint Teresa of Avila’s classic work, Way of Perfection, discusses the various forms of Christian prayer, with an emphasis on Teresa’s meditation on the Our Father. The author, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. (1893–1953), was a Carmelite priest, a revered master of Carmelite spirituality, and an expert in the spiritual and mystical doctrine of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.”
The Holy Spirit, Fire of Divine Love: “Fr. Stinissen’s writing is profound enough for theologians, yet accessible enough for anyone seeking a fuller and more meaningful life. This is an important, inspiring, and timely book.” -Vinny Flynn, Author, 7 Secrets of Divine Mercy
The Catholic Playbook: Lenten Reflections for Singles : “If you’re tired of walking through the desert of single life alone, this book is for you! Join other single Catholics and journey through your most meaningful Lent ever. With 40 meditations written by and for single Catholics, you’ll walk together every step of the way, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday.”
Marriage Care Novena Book : The Marriage Care Novena is a 9 day adventure designed to help couples put God at the center of their marriage.
Catholic Email Subscriptions
#40daysofMercy from uCatholic – This daily email will provide the daily readings, a reflection given by popular Catholic speakers, a Lenten challenge and a musical playlist. Also, don’t miss your free download of A Complete Guide to The Catholic Rules for Lent.
Redeemed Online: Subscribe to this channel to get access to daily talks throughout Lent given by a variety of Catholic speakers.
Best Lent Ever by Dynamic Catholic: Catholic Speaker Matthew Kelly provides daily emails with videos and reflections to help you “Rediscover Jesus” this Lent.
Celebrate the Feasts – Katie Warner, known as Catholic Katie, provides emails to help you celebrate feasts and better understand Church traditions.
Catholic Link: We have a series of several great posts that will encourage you this Lent, as well as weekly video reflections on the Gospel message. Come back to our site often so you don’t miss out on all of our wonderful resources!
CRS Rice Bowl: Provides brief videos, stories of hope and even suggestions for meals during Lent as well as raising awareness for the CRS rice bowl project. This is an excellent resource for those who desire to spend Lent sacrificing in order to give more to the poor.
Holy Heroes: Holy Heroes offers a free Lenten Adventure for children. The series will include videos, activities, and coloring sheets.
USCCB: The United States Council of Catholic Bishops offers some excellent resources on Lent.
Full of Grace : There is one person in the gospel that had the experience of living thirty years with Jesus–from birth through His resurrection: Mary, His Mother. After a full life with the Son of God – fleeing into Egypt, losing him in the temple, and seeing him placed on the cross – Mary lives her final earthly days in reflection.
Catholic Video Reflections
Lensanity Reflections: Every Sunday throughout Lent, Benedictine monk, Fr. Ananias Buccicone O.S.B. will share a new video giving you amazing and profound reflections and instruction on how to grow in faith.
Virtual Stations of the Cross: BustedHalo presents the Stations of the Cross on YouTube. This is a great form of prayer you can do in your own home.
New Catholic Generation: Though not specific to Lent, the New Catholic Generation offers great video commentary on Catholic issues and topics.
Ave Maria Radio : This YouTube channel has a wonderful selection of videos that comment on feast days and Saints.
Catholic Webinars/Online Retreats
6 Ways to Draw Closer to God: In the Church’s tradition there is a hierarchy of prayer: Vocal Prayer, Meditative Prayer, and Contemplative Prayer. Most Catholics have never grown past the Vocal Prayer. In this presentation the viewers will learn how to pray meditatively and contemplatively.
The Pray More Retreat: “As a part of this retreat, you will receive access to 16 different talks on prayer. Each of those talks will also come with a printable study guide that has reflective questions and prayers to accompany the presentation, along with transcripts of the presentation.” They are asking people to pay what they can (free if needed!) for this retreat.
The Wild Goose: Though not specific to Lent, this free online video series on the Holy Spirit is sure to enhance your spiritual growth over the next 40 days. The videos feature Fr. Dave Pivonka and several testimonies to help better understand the Holy Spirit.
Digital Immersion Trip: Join Catholic Extension on a trip to some of the poorest areas of the United States to see how the Catholic faith is growing.
The Vigil Project: “The VIGIL Project is a community of artists, musicians, and filmmakers that produce multimedia resource for deep prayer and authentic encounter with God.” The first series they created focuses on songs for Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
40 Songs for 40 Days by Steubenville Conferences: An amazing list of 40 contemporary songs to help guide your prayer time this Lent. There is a direct link to Spotify so the work is done for you!
Lent at Ephesus: “This compilation of poignant chants, intricate harmonies and rousing hymns of glory and redemption includes: “O Sacred Head Surrounded,” made famous by Bach’s oratorios, “All Glory Laud and Honor,” the well-known “Adoramus Te Christe” and the entrancing “Improperia” from the liturgy of Good Friday.”
What tools will you use to grow spiritually this Lent? Leave your suggestions in the comments.
There are so many wonderful ways for you to become more united with Christ during this Lenten season. Take the time to find one that will enrich the next 40 days and a significant impact on your life far beyond that. Pope Francis has offered great insight and wisdom to help our focus during Lent. You can find his message for Lent 2017 here.
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