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A Catholic Professional's Guide to Lent

By making time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during our typical work day, Catholic professionals can cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in our work.

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This year is a year of “double blessings” with Ash Wednesday falling on St. Valentine’s Day! As Lent is quickly approaching, this sacred season is a time of spiritual renewal and a deepening of one’s faith through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  

But how might we incorporate our Lenten practices into our busy professional lives? 

By making time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during our typical work day, Catholic professionals can cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in our work. Developing these daily habits require intentionality and commitment.

Here are some practical examples of praying, fasting, and almsgiving that we can offer up to God this Lent, deepening our relationship with Him, growing in love and compassion for others.

Ways of Praying

By offering up your work as a form of prayer, this Lent we can ask God to guide our actions and decisions throughout the day. The following are beautiful ways to listen, to ask, to give thanks, and to become aware of God’s presence in our everyday lives:

  • Daily silence: spend some time in silent meditation every day and listen to God’s voice.
  • Morning, Midday, and End of Day Prayers: make time for short prayers to recognize God during your busy day.
  • Daily Scripture Reading (Lectio Divina): listen to God’s Word or the daily Gospel reading.
  • Examination of Conscience: review your day, notice God’s presence, give thanks, and ask for forgiveness.
  • Adoration: spend time in God’s true presence in holy adoration at a local chapel.
  • Daily Mass: make some time for mass during the week.
  • Rosary: pray the rosary and spend some time with Our Lady.

Ways of Fasting

  • Tech Detox: limit your use of smartphones, social media, and television. Use this extra time for prayer, reflection, and quality time with loved ones.
  • Simplify Your Diet: practice fasting from indulgent, unhealthy, or some of your favorite foods and beverages. Give it up to God as a sacrifice.
  • Fast from Negative Speech: refrain from negative speech or gossip in the workplace. Choose instead to speak words of kindness, encouragement, and love.
  • Reduce Waste: fast from excessive consumption and wasteful habits. Cut back on unnecessary purchases, reuse and recycle, and donate items you no longer need to those in need.

Ways of Almsgiving:

  • Random Acts of Kindness: practice small acts of kindness and generosity each day, such as doing a favor for someone in need, offering a listening ear to a family member or friend who is going through a tough time, or paying for someone else's coffee or meal.
  • Share Your Talents: use your skills and abilities to serve others, whether it's tutoring a student, mentoring a colleague, or helping a neighbor with household tasks. 
  • Pray for Others: lift up the needs and intentions of others in your prayers each day. Whether it's praying for a friend who is struggling, a family member who is sick, or those affected around the world by natural disasters or conflict.

By incorporating acts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving into our daily work routine, we are walking alongside Jesus during these 40 days in the desert. We pray that this Lenten season will bring us all closer to God, recognizing that to “dust we shall return.” May this 2024 sacred season be a time of renewal, transformation, and grace for us all as we seek to follow Christ's path of love and mercy in our personal and professional lives and celebrate together its culmination in Resurrection Sunday.

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