Far be it from me to be giving anyone advice on how to observe the Season of Lent. However, I have come across some very creative websites that might appeal to those who are giving something up, but who are also looking for positive practices.
From our friends at the Environmental Outreach Committee of the Department of Peace and Justice, Archdiocese of Washington: The 2012 Caring for Creation Calendar.
From the Jesuits at Loyola Press– and they do have a gift for responding creatively and profoundly to the yearnings of young adults: “40 Lent: What do you give up when the world gives out?” It’s a social media series focusing on the way a group of adults copes with the aftermath of a disaster.
From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: a wealth of resources and answers to questions about the significance of Lent, the practices, the Rite of Christian Initiation and even an informative section of the Saints of Lent.
American Catholic.org also offers a variety of creative Lenten practices you might want to look at.
Our own Archdiocesan Catechetical Office website – nyfaithformation.org - has a number of Lenten connections for you to make.
Now these are online resources but there comes a time when one might want to think about powering off the p.c., the smartphone, the tablet or whatever your device of choice may be and, instead, make a physical connection to a church. So many churches here in New York City have wonderful programs to offer.
One of my favorites is the Franciscan Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Check out the Lenten offerings for people of all ages at the parish, which is located just across from Penn Station in Manhattan. In truth, this parish does wonderful outreach all year but its Lenten programs are particularly fine.
There are lots of other parishes making a special effort this Lent. You may find one right near you. This church might not have a fancy website, so just stop in and chances are you’ll see some signs or weekly bulletins. Pick one up. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that your most meaningful Lent ever is right in your own neighborhood.
If you know of any parish or online Lenten programs you want to share, just let me know by commenting below.
A blessed Lent to you.