Share this story

 | By Sheri Wohlfert

Pray and Serve Together as a Family

The season of Lent is the perfect time to check our balance and our priorities as Catholics and Catholic families. The purpose of this holy season is to reflect, rebalance, repent and rekindle our commitment to follow Jesus. Take some time to ponder these ideas as a family before Ash Wednesday, and then talk and pray about the ways the Lord might be calling you to a deeper relationship this Lent.

Give and take: Growing in holiness requires change. The goal isn’t to take away things and add things for just the six weeks of Lent, it’s about rooting out habits and creating patterns that create permanent change in our relationship with the Lord.

Making room: Our lives are so full we have to honestly ask if there is room for Jesus. Our lives, our schedules and our homes are full to the brim. Lent is a great time to sift, sort, settle down and declutter our homes, schedules and stuff. As a family, make a plan to donate and downsize the things that are not drawing us closer to Christ.

Prayer focus: Begin each day with prayer in order to set our sights on faith. Include that important question, “How can I pray for you today?” in your Lenten morning routine. Focus on remembering the needs of others and offering to help by offering the gift of prayer. Create a space for family prayer with symbols of Lent to draw your family into prayer and remind them of the importance of imitating Jesus’ 40 days of prayer in the desert. You might consider adding a new symbol each week to add interest and focus.

The gift of time: Be a family that prays and plays together during Lent. Give yourself the gift of time as you put away screens, eat at home together instead of eating out, and slow down the schedules and commitments to make time for family prayer, conversation and play.

Serve and sacrifice: Plan activities for sharing with those in need during Lent. A toy, pantry or closet clean-out is a great way to begin. Make a plan to invite a neighbor or someone who lives alone over for dinner or dessert. Offer an afternoon to rake, bake or assist someone in your neighborhood or parish. Give some thought to sacrifices you can make both individually and as a family such as a spending fast for all non-essential things or an eating-out fast and offer the money saved to a cause or family in need.

Essentials: Don’t forget the essential things that draw us to a season of prayerfulness such as daily Mass, Stations of the Cross, reconciliation, praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic school teacher, speaker, writer and founder of Joyful Words Ministries. Sheri blogs at

¡Lee este artículo en español! (Spanish Language Version)