How to make good Lenten resolutions

Lent begins today, but you might still be struggling to decide what resolutions you will make to grow in holiness and virtue throughout this liturgical season. Yesterday on Morning Air®, Fr. Francis Hoffman ‘Father Rocky’, Executive Director of Relevant Radio®, shared some tips for making good resolutions for a fruitful Lent.

“It’s something in the human spirit that we’re looking forward to changing and converting and casting off the old self and getting back to the fundamentals, getting back to Christ,” says Fr. Rocky. “That’s why so many people show up for Ash Wednesday at churches around the country!”

“We’re looking forward to that chance to walk for forty days with Jesus because He was in the desert for forty days praying and fasting. And that’s why we do Lent—we’re trying to imitate Jesus.”

“Make a couple of resolutions for Lent—very specific, very concrete, reasonable—don’t over-aim what you can reasonably do. And a resolution in the area of prayer, a resolution in the area of fasting or giving something up, and a resolution in the area of almsgiving—giving of yourself to help others, whether that be financially or with time or volunteering.”

Father Rocky’s suggestion for a prayer resolution is to listen to the In Conversation with God daily podcast on the Relevant Radio app. “It’s very popular, it’s very helpful. It’s usually 12-15 minutes long and you can listen to it in pieces or the whole thing. You can listen to it in the car or in the plane; you can put your ear buds in.” Other prayer resolutions could be adding in a Rosary, daily Mass, or adoration into your day, reading the Bible, or being more grateful to God for your many blessings.

How can we decide what would be a good thing to give up for Lent? “Think about what you really, really like and give it up. Because that creates space for us and it toughens us up, because being a Christian is not easy. You look at the people in the Olympics these days and oh man, do they take that seriously! They’re working out every day … and that’s just for a gold medal! But we’re trying to get ready for the spiritual olympics of Heaven so we have to make that kind of effort as well,” said Fr. Rocky. Common things to give up are chocolate, coffee creamer, sweets, television, social media, alcohol, and more! Think outside the box and challenge yourself to grow in virtue and self-control.

“Almsgiving is to be generous with others, especially with our time and our attitude,” explained Fr. Rocky. “Maybe your almsgiving for Lent could be, I’m not going to say anything negative about my in-laws, not one single word. Wow, that would be great almsgiving!”

Tune in to hear Fr. Rocky every Tuesday morning on Morning Air!