It was not too long ago that you had to rely on the little booklet that your parish handed out each year if you wanted free reflections each day for the season of Lent. Now we have so many great options readily available that it is almost too difficult to decide which ones to use. Here are seven great Lenten resources that we have been enjoying at CatholicRetreats:
1. The Fun Lent App
“Lentsanity” by FOCUS
The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) has put together an app with some great resources for Lent, called “Lentsanity.” It includes a short reflection for each day of Lent, relevant Lenten blog posts, some entertaining videos about the “Meat Police” making sure you remember not to eat meat on Fridays, and push notifications on your phone before meals on Fridays reminding you not to eat meat.
2. Everybody’s Favorite Cardinal
Video Reflections by Cardinal Dolan
Each day during Lent Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will be posting a short (about 1 minute) video reflection to his website, CardinalDolan.org. You can also watch the video reflections using a free app from EWTN via Google Play (Apple version coming soon).
3. 40 Days with the Scriptures
EWTN’s Lenten Gospel Challenge
This one does not involve any daily reflections, but EWTN has just added the Lenten Gospel Challenge to their app. The Challenge gives you a part of the Gospels to read each day during Lent, and if you keep up you will read all four Gospels by Easter.
4. The Priest Leading the New Evangelization Online
Fr. Robert Barron’s Daily Reflections
You can get daily reflections from the creator of the “Catholicism” video series, Fr. Robert Barron, if you go to LentReflections.com. You can subscribe on the site to receive daily e-mails with the reflections and exclusive videos from Fr. Barron.
5. Daily Reflections for Lent, and the Rest of the Year
Daily Reflections from Flocknote
Matthew Warner, founder of Flocknote, is bringing daily reflections via email featuring writings from The Diary of St. Faustina and meditations from priests of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. You can sign up for these reflections at Flocknote.com/Lent.
6. The Classic Prayer and Reflections
The Liturgy of the Hours
The Liturgy of the Hours is the “prayer of the Church,” and has been prayed by priests and religious several times every day for centuries. It includes readings and prayers for different hours of the day, and one of those is called the “Office of Readings.” The Office of Readings includes some psalms, a scripture reading, and a reading that is a reflection relevant to the day by agreat spiritual writer such as a saint, a bishop of antiquity, or a pope. If you pray the Office of Readings each day you will get a built-in Lenten meditation in addition to the psalms and readings, and you will be praying in unison with millions of others around the world.
You can find the Office of Readings in the Four Volume set of physical books of the Liturgy of the Hours, or you can download an app such as iBreviary (for free) from the iTunes Store or Google Play (don’t worry, the screenshots are in Italian but you can use the app in English). You can even come back to CatholicRetreats.net each day and pray the Liturgy of the Hours using the handy app on the right toolbar. If you are not familiar with the Liturgy of the Hours and how it is prayed you can learn more in our article “The Liturgy of the Hours.”
7. The Ultimate Lent Resource
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
The USCCB has put together an amazing set of resources for Lent. There is a Calendar to take you through things to reflect on and pray for each day of Lent, there are Lenten Audio Retreats, there is information about Fasting and Abstinence, and just so much more. Check out the USCCB Lent Page to see all of the resources.
What resources have you found helpful for Lent? Let us know in the comments below!