Lent is a special time to “experiment” with our lives of prayer. Think of ways to pray more, think of ways to pray differently than you usually do. Some find that celebrating daily Mass is helpful. You might also consider time praying with Scripture, or time spent in quiet reflection, listening for the voice of God. Alms- giving — the third Lenten discipline — is more likely to be accomplished if our acts of charity are specific; for example, I will be more likely to follow-through on a commitment to spend two hours doing house-cleaning for an elderly neighbor, than I would be on a commitment “to help those who need my help.”
Back in the fifth century, St. Benedict (the abbot of a monastery for men) told his monks that Lent gave them “the chance to be who you should be every other day of the year.” It is in that same spirit that we modern-day Catholics must approach Lent. With God’s grace, we “push” ourselves a little harder and longer to be more like Christ in the ways that we live and love. Yes, at first it may seem like a burden, but we carry it with the knowledge that we bear it with God. When we grow in the belief that we are in partnership with God, our “burdens” can become opportunities for peace and joy.