ADD-LENT

LENT starts on Wednesday, February 26th . It lasts for 6 weeks, which psychologists tells us is the amount of time humans need to either break a bad habit or start a new one. This year we are offering 4 challenges that can help us in our relationship with God. They offer ways to improve behavioral patterns with regard to our heart, our
soul, our mind, and our body. The four choices are below. Take these
weeks to add a new habit to your life – by practicing ADD-Lent!


FOR THE SOUL
This challenge calls for a form of ‘diet’. You are encouraged to replace one or two social media sites that serve as your ‘rabbit holes’; in other words, think about sites that cause you to fritter away time, or bring up feelings of envy or frustration or unkind thoughts – kind of like junk food. Then replace those sties with ones that offer healthy nourishment, being careful to mindfully choose sites that promote the spirituality your genuinely seek – but beware! Just because a site is marked as Christian does not make it healthy! Some options include:

-sacredspace.ie ( a site that promotes
prayer and intentional mindfulness of Scripture)

-endhunger.org (a site that will take you to
daily devotions from St. Andrews)

-cbcofdurham.org (a plan for reading the
four canonical gospels in 30 days)

[email protected] (twitter account that
provides a thought each morning)


FOR THE HEART
It is easy to think that we pray more than we really do; just like it’s easy to think that we talk with our loved ones, when often we just communicate on the surface. This challenge encourages a daily, set aside time for prayer – preferably 10 minutes – using a traditional method of prayer:

A.C.T.S.

A – (adoration) give God praise and glory
C – (confession) honestly deal with the sin in your life
T – (thanksgiving) verbalize those people & things in your life for which you are grateful
S – (supplication) pray for yourself, others, and the world
In addition to this, emphasize particular
areas in your life when you come to
supplication (these are not easy):

Weeks one and two: pray for the one person in your life that causes you the most grief.

Weeks three and four: pray for understanding of a group of people against whom you have prejudice

Weeks five and six: Pray for healing in your soul


FOR THE BODY
This challenge will help you develop the habit of quiet meditation. Studies in many disciplines – religion, psychology, and medicine among others – all speak to the benefit of slowing down. Meditation does not requite equipment, books, or a special wardrobe. Simply put on comfortable clothing and sit in a quiet area. You may wish to set an alarm on your phone, so there is not a temptation to look at your watch. Begin with a simple prayer: something like “speak, Lord, I am here to listen” or “I love you”. Be aware of your breathing, and let that be your touchstone. Try to let your mind empty; if something comes up, acknowledge it and return to your breath.

WEEK ONE: Each day for 10 minutes
WEEK TWO: Each day for 10 minutes
WEEK THREE: Each day for 15 minutes
WEEK FOUR: Each day for 15 minutes
WEEK FIVE: Each day for 20 minutes
WEEK SIX: Each day for 20 minutes


FOR THE MIND
The thought of reading Scripture is daunting to many of us. Often we think that by coming to church and hearing two passage read each week, we’ve covered our bases. But when we read an entire gospel over 6 weeks, we hear and understand the story in a new way. For this challenge, find two or three different versions of the gospel of Matthew (New Revised Standard, New International, The Message etc). The passage breakouts are not long, to ensure time to really pay attention and meditate on the Word.

WEEK ONE – Chapters 1-4
WEEK TWO – Chapters 5-7
WEEK THREE – Chapters 8-12
WEEK FOUR – Chapters 13-17
WEEK FIVE – Chapters 18-23
WEEK SIX – Chapters 24-28