I have to admit that for many years, I was stuck in a rut for Lent. On those occasions when I did try to do something (not all that many), I generally gave up sweets. While there’s no doubt that it was a sacrifice (those who know me will realize just how big of a sacrifice!), I found myself focusing more on what I was giving than the one for whom I was giving it up. As Lent progressed, I could sometimes be seen drooling (I would like to say that I’m not speaking literally, but I’m not sure I can) over supermarket displays of donuts and pastries. As the season drew to a close, I was so happy to be able to indulge in sweets that I often forgot about my relationship with the Lord!
In recent years, I’ve modified my Lenten practices and now try to include some spiritual practices. I try to do things which will lead me closer to the Lord. I’m happy to report that it has worked out well. This year, I’ll once be leading my annual Lenten Radio Retreat nightly on The Gary Zimak Show and will make it a point to include some of these concepts in my discussion. Sometimes, however, I’m not the most creative person in the world and could use some help in coming up with new ways to get the most out of Lent…
Well, the book came in the mail yesterday and I honestly haven’t been able to put it down. This is just what I was looking for! D’Ambrosio offers 40 Lenten practices, many of which would never have occurred to me. Some of his suggestions are committing to daily prayer, examining your media consumption, praying the Our Father slowly and thoughtfully, initiating a family rosary, reaching out to the least popular person you know, spending time with the Lord in Eucharistic adoration or devoting the first 10 minutes of your day to thanking God for the blessings He has given you. Each of the recommended practices is supplemented with a brief meditation and explanation. Every one of his suggestions is not only spiritually beneficial, but very doable.
If you’re looking for a great book to help you get the most out of Lent, check out 40 Days, 40 Ways – A New Look At Lent by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio. I plan to use some of his suggestions over the next several weeks – possibly on my nightly radio show!
You can order the book from Amazon by clicking on the following image: