Lenten Practices Strengthen Spiritual Muscles

Adding extra prayer to our day, performing extra sacrifices and giving up meat on Fridays, and doing charitable works during Lent—these are some of the practices for which Catholics are known. These are called the Three Pillars of Lent - Prayer, penance, and alms-giving. The Catholic Church asks us to do these things each year so that we can become newer and better people at the end of Lent. Through these works the Catholic Church helps us to remember each year that we are followers of Jesus.


We know the importance of prayer in our lives and it is especially important during Lent. Lent is when we can ask ourselves: “What needs changing?” Do we have bad habits we want to get rid of? What can we do to become a better person? We start by adding prayer to our days during Lent.


We make special efforts to make amends for our sinfulness by doing penance. Every sin has a consequence. If we tell a lie, for example, we eventually have to tell the truth. But even if we tell the truth, trust has been broken because we lied in the first place. Penance helps to make amends for the sin of the lie.

During Lent, we do penance by giving up a favorite food, activity, or toy. We can give up watching television during Lent, or playing computer or video games, for example. The discomfort that results is offered to God as penance for our sins.

We can also do something extra as penance, too. We can say a daily Rosary, go to extra Masses, or perform extra chores as penance, too. Whatever we do, we offer to God as penance and he happily accepts our efforts.


During Lent, the Church asks us to be aware of other people's needs. If we give money to charity or to the Church to help care for the poor, that is almsgiving. If we give gently used clothing or toys to charity, that is also almsgiving. Lent is also a time when we try out best to be kinder to the people around us.

Doing all of these things helps us to greet Easter as new people, changed and better than when we started the journey on Ash Wednesday!

 Check out more free content here


Need to renew your subscription?
Login in and check out the Subscriber Section for special offers. 


website stats
Helping American Catholics live and love our Faith 

Subscribe here

Why subscribe today?  

Our publications are unique in the field of Catholic publishing and work for you - the Catholic bishop, pastor, deacon, deacon, director of religious education, school principal, or pastoral associate. We want to partner with you to serve parishioners:

  • Written by journalists and Catholic catechists, our editorial content is authentically Catholic, orthodox, and will help you encourage Catholics fully live the faith with joy.
  • Extend the life of your homilies and lessons with our Gospel-centered, practical tips for living a Catholic life.
  • Feel confident that parishioners are getting orthodox and faithful help. Our editorial content is based on published guidance from the Pope and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • Two lines of personalization that you choose - usually the parish name and your own name - let parishioners know you care

  • Email and phone access to the editorial staff means you can ensure inclusion of topics important to your parishioners and parish.

  • The one-page design makes a cost-effective insert in your parish bulletins.
  • Can't use the entire newsletter wholesale? The Microsoft Word versions make it easy to fit articles into blank spaces in your bulletin or placed into any publication your parish produces. (No attribution necessary.)
  • Shore up parents' knowledge of the faith. Distribute and send home to your parish school or religious education families. 

  • Enhance RCIA materials and give practical help to new Catholics. Also great for Baptismal classes to refresh new parents' knowledge of the faith.

  • Friendly and practical ideas are perfect for returning Catholics programs your parish offers. 

  • All material is orthodox and faithful, so you know parishioners are getting helpful advice you would give if only you had the time.

Tweeting Faith