Are You Ready for Lent?!

Can you believe that Lent starts next week with Ash Wednesday? It seems strange, especially since technically the Christmas season (for us Catholics) just ended February 2 which was the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Well, ready or not here it comes! Now may be a good time to think and pray about what you want to happen during the Lenten Season.

For most of us, the focus of Lent becomes focused on us. Or, at least, I’m guilty of focusing too much on me. What am I giving up for Lent? What will I do for almsgiving? What prayer practice am I going to do this year? Then when we fail or mess up we blame ourselves, get frustrated, and sometimes give up. Now, don’t get me wrong. Fasting, almsgiving, and extra prayer are all good things. I’m not saying to abandon them!

What I am saying, for me, is that I want to switch focus this year and put it on Christ. I am still going to “do” those Lenten practices but I am going to try and keep my eyes fixed on Christ and really enter into the mystery of His suffering, death, and Resurrection.

One way I am going to do this is to make a greater commitment to journaling and to use it as a form of prayer. Journaling is a wonderful way to pray. Why? It is a type a freewriting where you can pour out your heart to God without thought. Or, if you have a definite thing to say, putting it into paper makes it “real” or tangible.

I started journaling a few years ago for Lent and it made a huge difference for me. Once Lent was over, I sort of let the practice fall by the wayside. Oh, I still continued to journal every day but it was, again, more of a “me” thing as opposed as a tool to connecting with God.

Lenten Prayer Journal for Women

To help me using journaling as a prayer aid, I created the Lenten Prayer Journal for Women. Each day has a short quote from one of the Mass readings for the day and lots of lined and blank pages. My plan is to use these pages as an opportunity to do a sort of informal reflection on those quotes. Of course, many days I will probably use the pages to pour out my heart to God in other ways too and that’s okay. There is no right or wrong way to use a prayer journal!

I’ve also made the journal available to you in hopes that it may help you kick start your prayer this Lent, too. If you are looking to refocus your mind and heart on Christ – if only for a few minutes! – I pray that this journal will help you do just that. 🙂 May it be your best and most fruitful Lenten season yet!

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