Lent 2023: A Resource Guide For Catholics

by February, Lent

The Lent and Easter seasons mark the holiest times of the year for us as Catholics. It’s essential that we start preparing now for Lent so that Lent will be a season spent preparing for Easter. This Lent resource guide is designed to provide Catholics with the books, videos, apps, and programs available to help make the most of the 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that we will enter into on Ash Wednesday (February 22).

Start Here – What Should You Give Up For Lent? A Quiz!

This is a fun quiz to help you start thinking about and planning for Lent.  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 something up, but doing something. Adding a prayer time, serving the poor, reading a spiritual book – these are all ways to achieve your spiritual goals. Ready to discover what Lent resource is best for you to use to grow spiritually? 

QUIZ: What Should You Give Up For Lent?

The Best Catholic Resources For Lent

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Catholic Books For Lent

Return | Fr. John Burns

Return is a beautiful guided journal for prayer and meditation, Fr. John Burns—author of the bestselling and award-winning book Adore—invites you to strip away your confusion, attachments, and sin so you can return to the Lord and undergo real and lasting conversion. Each week of Lent, the book breaks down part of the liturgy’s first reading from Ash Wednesday in which the prophet Joel calls us to wholehearted conversion: “Even now, says the Lord, return to me, with your whole heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning, rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God” (Jl 2:12–13). Then, during Holy Week and the Resurrection on Easter, you are invited to weave your own stories into that of the Paschal Mystery. 

Psychology and the Cross | Fr. G. Emmett Carter 

In this trail-blazing book, first published in 1958, Fr. G. Emmett Carter has assembled the wisest Christian thought showing how psychology can aid the Christian in achieving maturity, overcoming character defects, and conquering emotional disorders.

Lent Cycle A: The Road to Redemption

Join us this Lent as we take 6 weeks to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ! Are we ready for the King? Are our hearts ready to accept the passion of our Lord so that we may share in his glorious Resurrection? The six weeks leading up to Easter mark our own 40 days in the desert with Jesus. Lent is an intense time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving for the entire Church. This year the Sunday gospel readings at Mass come from the Gospels of Matthew and John. Our engagement with these gospels creates a beautiful tapestry of prepared anticipation for the Easter season into our hearts.

Walk in Her Sandals: Experience Christ’s Passion through the Eyes of Women | Edited by Kelly M. Wahlquist

Walk in Her Sandals, edited by popular Catholic author and speaker Kelly M. Wahlquist, takes you deeper into your relationship with Jesus by helping you relate to him in a profoundly intimate way. Looking at six universal gifts of women through the eyes of women in the gospels, the book guides you on a prayerful and creative journey through the days of Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost.

 The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ | Alban Goodier 

This absorbing account provides you with an intimate look at the sufferings of Our Lord through the minds and hearts of those closest to Him. You’ll see Jesus through the eyes of His apostles, of those who condemned Him, of His executioners, and of those He met along the way of the Cross. Drawing from historical research, culture, and his own profound spiritual insights, Archbishop Alban Goodier, S.J., masterfully intersperses scriptural accounts and narration to bring the Passion of Jesus fully to life.

Restore: A Guided Lent Journal for Prayer and Meditation | Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT

Take a healing journey with Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, as she helps you turn away from what wounds you and toward God who heals you and makes you whole. In this beautiful guided journal for prayer and meditation, Sr. Miriam invites you to meet the tenderness of God’s mercy, the power of his love, and the restoration of your heart and life as you practice prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Prayers of Desperation: A Questioner’s Prayer for Answers in Our Darkest Moments | Bishop Robert J. Baker

Sometimes our best prayers can be the questions we ask. Bishop Robert J. Baker, S.T.D., explains powerful ways to pray when facing the pain of abandonment, serious illness or addiction, loss of a loved one, or large-scale disaster.

Aquinas’s Lenten Meditations: 40 Days with the Angelic Doctor

There’s a multitude of Lenten meditation books but only one that’s packed with the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas. Journey through Lent with the Church’s greatest philosopher-theologian. This unrivaled spiritual master will guide you in encountering Our Lord and experiencing the type of fruitful Lent that he often experienced.

Born of Fire | Fr. Mark Mary Ames

This is honestly the best Lent resource for Catholic men we’ve ever read! If you desire to provide Catholic resources for men this is a must-read.

The Lenten Cookbook | Scott Hahn and David Geisser 

Jesus I Trust in You: A 30-Day Personal Retreat with the Litany of Trust | Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, S.V.

We were made for love, and love requires trust. In Jesus I Trust in You: A 30-Day Personal Retreat Based on the Litany of Trust, Sr. Faustina Maria Pia Bianchi, S.V., learn what it means to place our trust in Jesus―no matter the circumstances. In this powerful invitation to a loving, trusting relationship with our Lord, you will pray with the Litany of Trust to overcome every obstacle to peace.

Lent Ideas For Children And Families

Holy Heroes: Holy Heroes offers a free Lenten Adventure for children. The series will include videos, activities, and coloring sheets.

Catholic Family Crate: Do your kids find fasting, praying, and giving difficult or boring? Give your sacrifices a boost this season with the Family Sacrifices Kit. 

Catholic Bible Studies And Online Retreats For Lent

Focus Lenten Bible Study with Curtis Martin and Dr. Edward Sri

This Lent, join Curtis Martin and Dr. Edward Sri for a twelve-week walk through “the big picture” of the Bible. This Bible study is perfect for small groups or self-study.

Participants will…

  • Come away with the “Big Picture” of the Bible
  • See the Catholic Faith in Scripture
  • Discover the role they play in the story
  • Learn how to share the story with others

Receive the word. Share it with others. This is our call.

Holy Is His Name Scripture Study with Dr. Scott Hahn

In 1 Peter 1:16, we’re reminded of our call to holiness. You shall be holy, for I am holy. But what is holiness?
Join us in this new Bible study as Scott Hahn traces the meaning of holiness from its origins in Scripture to its appearance in our own lives today. Together, let’s experience the transformative power of God’s holiness. In twelve beautifully produced lessons, this study explores the Scriptural encounters with the Divine – the burning bush, the ark of the covenant, the burning coal, and more! As our fear and trembling turns to awe and wonder, you’ll come to a new appreciation of our sharing in the divine life.

Mysteries of the Rosary 

An authentic encounter with Christ leads to our transformation and sanctification. Mysteries of the Rosary integrates deeply reflective insights on the life of Christ, theological truths, and captivating stories together with breathtaking scenery, illuminating sacred art, and inspiring music. By filming on location in the Holy Land, our aspiration is to make the Rosary come alive in the hearts and minds of the participants. Encounters with Christ in the episodes and discussions will lead to even deeper encounters with Him in personal prayer and contemplation. 

Movies For Lent

The Chosen: Not specifically Lent related, but this series is incredible to watch any time of the year! Check out our Catholic Guide to The Chosen HERE.

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.

Lent Movie Recommendations

Catholic Music For Lent Playlist

The Vigil Project: “The VIGIL Project is a community of artists, musicians, and filmmakers that produce a 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!

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.”

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.

Laudate: This app is wonderful year-round, not just during Lent.  It provides the daily readings, reflections, and a vast collection of prayers.

Lent #Pray40 Challenge from Hallow

Take the Lent #Pray40 Challenge from Hallow – the Catholic Prayer and Meditation App!

Catholic Websites To Visit During Lent

Catholic-Link:  We have a series of several great posts that will encourage you during this holy season, 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 times of fasting as well as raising awareness for the CRS rice bowl project. This is an excellent resource for those who desire to spend these 40 days sacrificing in order to give more to the poor.

USCCB: The United States Council of Catholic Bishops offers some excellent resources.

Important Dates During Lent 2023

The season of Lent lasts for forty days from Ash Wednesday through Holy Thursday Mass. Sundays are not included in the 40 days because each Sunday is considered a mini-Easter celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. You’re not obligated to fast on Sundays during Lent, but you can choose to if you would like.

February 22, 2023 – Ash Wednesday | Lent begins

February 24, 2023 – Lent Friday | No Meat

March 3, 2023 – Lent Friday | No Meat

March 10, 2023 – Lent Friday | No Meat

March 17, 2023 – Lent Friday | St. Patrick’s Day (a few dioceses may allow a dispensation due to the feast day)

March 19, 2023 – Feast of St. Joseph

March 24, 2023 – Lent Friday | No Meat

March 25, 2023 – Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord

March 31, 2023 – Lent Friday | No Meat

April 2, 2023 – Palm Sunday

April 5, 2023 – Spy Wednesday

April 6, 2023 – Holy Thursday | Lent Ends

April 7, 2023 – Good Friday

April 8, 2023 – Holy Saturday

April 9, 2023 – Easter Sunday

May 18, 2023 – The Ascension of the Lord

May 28, 2023 – Feast of Pentecost | Easter Season ends

Lenten Recipes To Help With Your Fast

3 Easy Lent Recipes To Help You Fast On Ash Wednesday

The Lenten Cookbook

What will you give up for Lent this year? Get creative and give these things a try! Find more great resources for Lent at Catholic-Link.org

Prayers To Learn For Lent

The Jesus Prayer – Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

PRAYER TO OUR SORROWFUL MOTHER | St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

O my afflicted Mother! Queen of Martyrs and of Sorrows, thou didst so bitterly weep over thy Son, Who died for my salvation; but what will thy tears avail me if I am lost? By the merits, then, of thy Sorrows, obtain for me deep contrition for my sins, and a true amendment of life, together with constant and tender compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and thy Dolors. And if Jesus and thou, being so innocent, have suffered so much for love of me, obtain that at least I, who am deserving of Hell, may suffer something for thy love. “O Lady,” will I say with St. Bonaventure, “if I have offended thee, in justice wound my heart; if I have served thee, I now ask wounds for my reward. It is shameful to me to see my Lord Jesus wounded, and thee wounded with Him, and myself without a wound.” In fine, O my Mother, by the grief that thou didst experience in seeing thy Son bow down His head and expire on the Cross in the midst of so many torments, I beseech thee to obtain for me a holy death. Ah, cease not, O Advocate of sinners, to assist my afflicted soul in the midst of the combat in which it will have to engage in its great passage from time to eternity. And as it is probable that I may then have lost my speech and strength to invoke thy sweet name and the Holy Name of Jesus, Who art all my hope, I do so now; I invoke thy Son and thee to succor me in that last moment; and I say, Jesus and Mary, to Thee I commend my soul. Amen.

RAYER TO OUR SORROWFUL MOTHER | St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

More Lent Resources

QUIZ: What Should You Give Up For Lent?

An Illustrated Guide To Fasting: Why Do We Fast During Lent?

Simple (And Creative!) Things To Do To Make The Best Of Lent!

How To Recover When Lent Goes Wrong

The Stations of The Cross | Video Reflections From 3 Saints

3 Soul-Changing Challenges From A Seminarian To Make This Lent Count!

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