Lent is coming soon, starting on Ash Wednesday – 1 March. You can use the Lenten season of transformation to make a difference around the world.
If you’re wondering what to give up, take up or take on this Lent, look no further. Here are YCL member CAFOD’s most popular ideas.
Give it up!
For forty days you can cut out cookies or say no to espresso. Giving something up for Lent is a Catholic tradition, but lots of people also use this self-denial as an opportunity to serve Christ, by raising money for people in need of support.
You could work out how much money you’ve saved by giving something up and donate that to your favourite Catholic cause.
What should I give up for Lent?
If you’re keen to get involved and give something up, but struggling to decide what, here is a list of treats you could cut out:
• Journeys by car or bus
• Taking the lift upstairs
• Coffee, tea or all caffeine
• Coca Cola
If you still can’t decide what to cut out, ask a friend what they think you should do, and get them to sponsor you for it.
Reflect with the words of Pope Francis
Pope Francis has recently put out a letter encouraging all Catholics to engage with the season of Lent. In his Message for Lent 2017 he said:
“May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need.
“I encourage all the faithful to express this spiritual renewal also by sharing in the Lenten Campaigns promoted by many Church organisations in different parts of the world, and thus to favour the culture of encounter in our one human family.”
Hold a group event
Get your friends and community together to organise a special event (or series of events). Lots of parish groups hold simple soup lunches throughout Lent – including on Lent Fast Day – coming together to cook and then charging a small amount for the meal. Bringing the local community together to help the global community.
You could try a:
• Quiz night
• Curry night
• Concert or Talent Show
• Gardening – growing flowers and vegetables, and celebrating with a plant sale or big dig.
Take on a challenge or take up something new
Another way to approach Lent could be to take on a challenge. It could be something that brings you closer to God, or helps you understand Jesus’ time in the desert; something you can use to raise money for a Catholic cause; or a way to make your own life better.
CAFOD supporters have revealed some of their amazing challenges. Some have lived on just £1 a day for food, others have run the London Marathon or skydived and one even cycled around the country to support their Lent campaign.
Pray for a better world
Find time this Lent for prayer and reflection. You can use CAFOD’s Lent calendar with its daily reflections on the Gospel.
Children at St Godric’s, Durham, getting involved with Lent Fast Day fundraising with a special Lenten soup lunch for CAFOD.