Lenten Fast Masterpost: 70 Ideas To Give/Take Up

The penitential season of Lent is fast upon us, which means that the main question on everyone’s mind is what to give up for the next 40 days. This is a difficult decision for most Catholics because we are often tempted to give up things like chocolate or fast food. While those are good things to give up, this year you may find it more beneficial to give up something that will lead you closer to Christ and help you better enter into the spirit of the Lenten season, by tackling those sins nearest and dearest to our hearts. I’ve scoured both the web and my brain to bring you this list of things to give/take up, and I’ve even made it easier for you to narrow it down. Just pick the sin you struggle with most out of the 7 deadly sins and then pick one (or more if you’re really hardcore) idea from the lists underneath them. Let’s start with the capital sin, from which all the other sins since the fall of mankind have been  derived: Pride.

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       Pride is considered as the worst or deadliest of all sins, not only because it is Lucifer’s sin as well as Adam & Eve’s, but also because it is so multi-faceted. Like a disease it comes with multiple symptoms and some of them can be rather hard to spot, such as passive-aggressive manipulation, or false humility for the sake of appearances. The sin of pride has a lot of dimensions to it, but that’s an article for a different day. Today I’m only going to break down the sin of pride into 2 parts. Firstly, pride is attributing to one’s self that which belongs to God or the prerogative of God. Examples of this include refusing to do God’s will (thinking you want more for your life than what He has planned for you), refusing the church’s teachings on abortion /the death penalty (attributing to yourself the right to make judgments on life and death), claiming for yourself personal credit for your talents, achievements, or possessions (when everything you have has been given to you by God), or making judgments about others. Secondly, pride is the inordinate esteem for oneself. It is the thinking of oneself as better than one really is. The antidote to the sickness of pride is a big helping of humble pie. Humility is the seed of all the other virtues, just as pride is the seed of all sins. As C.S. Lewis put it, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

What to give up/take up:

1. Judging others. Every time you think something judgmental about someone else say a prayer for that person. A good prayer too; not a prayer like asking the Lord to open someone’s eyes to how bad their haircut makes them look (no matter how unfortunate that haircut might actually be.) I know your tricks!

2. Clamoring for attention or praise. Rather give the attention to somebody else. An easy way to do this is through social media. Stop posting pictures or posts only about yourself and obsessively monitoring the comments/likes. Instead,  go post something nice to or about someone else. Work on drawing attention away from yourself and shifting it to someone else. If checking or posting on social media is a really big problem of yours then just give it up completely. Don’t worry, you will survive missing out on a few memes, and hey at least it will make it easier to avoid spoilers.

3. Making excuses, blaming others, or refusing to admit your mistakes. Not confessing your sins or admitting when you are wrong because you are scared is also a form of pride, believe it or not, because you let what others think of you or what you think of yourself get in the way of doing what is right. If you are more worried about what the priest might think of you than actually being forgiven by God then you don’t  just have an insecurity issue, you have a pride problem as well. The humble admit their faults; the prideful hide them. So go to confession and start fessing up to others when you know you’ve done something wrong.

4. Focusing on your appearance. If this is a problem for you, then give up tanning/makeup/mirrors/false eye lashes/buying new clothes etc…

5. This one isn’t really something to give up but rather something to take up, and that is praying the Litany of Humility. Either once a day or at the very, very least once a week. (Hey how about twice on Sundays?)

6. Seeking to “win” every argument. A little debate is healthy and when it comes to matters of the faith, often times necessary. But there is a fine line between standing up for your rights and beliefs, and arguing just to prove yourself right. We are called to inform others, not to persuade them. So just say your piece, leave it at that, and quit worrying about making the other person see your point or what they may think of you.

7. Interrupting people. Learn how to be patient and listen first before offering your opinions on something.

8. Stop complaining, whether it is about others, your circumstances, the weather, or yourself. Every time you are tempted to complain about something or someone ask yourself, “Is there something I can do to improve the situation?” If there is then stop complaining and do it; if there isn’t then stop complaining and give the situation over to God.

9. How about giving up false humility? If you are good at something say so, then offer up your talents to the common good. If you are bad at something say so, then keep yourself from situations where it would cause harm to the common good. Don’t pretend to be good at something that you’re not and don’t pretend to be bad at something if you aren’t. God wants us to be ourselves, not something less than or more than that.

10. Purposefully do something every day for someone else that denies yourself. Let someone else go ahead of you in the grocery line, wait for everyone else to make their plates before making yours, abstain from taking the coveted last slice of pizza, let someone else pick the movie, take the seat nobody wanted etc…

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       Envy is a deadly sin for a reason: it is the child of pride. And much like with the sin of pride we all are guilty of it in some measure. Envy is the grieving of another’s fortunes, well-being, or happiness. It is the view that somebody else’s successes are your failures. It is a spirit of unhealthy comparison and competition which breeds resentment, hatred, and ingratitude. It can also branch into Schadenfreude: the rejoicing in the misfortunes of others. Envy pits us against each other, so it makes sense that kindness (benevolentia) is the Heavenly virtue we need to tap into to bring us back together.

What to give up/take up:

1. Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat etc… These are hotbeds of jealousy-inducers. Constantly seeing people posting pictures of their great vacations, their latest buys, their new relationships and so on and so forth often causes us to compare our lives with theirs, which leads to dissatisfaction and resentment. If you are guilty of this then maybe take a break from sms.

2. Criticizing others. This is kind of similar to being judgmental but it’s worse, because you are either criticizing that person to their face or criticizing them to others. When you find yourself doing this, stop and apologize. Then say something you admire about them to that person, or commit yourself to praying a novena for them. (I like the Prayer to St. Joseph, but that’s just me.)

3. Comparing yourself to others. Focus on yourself and you won’t have to worry about what others are doing. If you notice yourself starting to make comparisons or if you feel yourself getting envious of another person, then purposefully try to authentically praise that person. Celebrate their merits and give thanks to God for their good fortune or good qualities even if you don’t “feel” like your heart is in it.

4. Trolling online. Whether it is leaving nasty anonymous (or not) comments online or low-key stalking people you know, just stop. Seriously, what good is it doing you?

5. Gossiping. Whenever you find yourself gossiping about a certain someone and you are still in the conversation, stop and say something genuinely nice about the person you were just gossiping about. If you gossiped before you realized it and the person you were having the conversation with is gone, then tell someone else something nice about the person you gossiped about.

6. This one is a piggyback off of the last one and that is to disbelieve or discredit any rumors about a person you may hear. If you know it to be false then contradict the slander immediately. If you aren’t sure about its credibility then refuse to allow it to poison your mind against that person or to allow it to give you a false sense of superiority.

7. Competitions. Competitions can be great motivators and teamwork builders, but if you seriously struggle with envy and have a hard time with good sportsmanship then don’t sign up or enter yourself into any competitions this Lent. Talk to God about your competitive attitude in prayer.

8. Stop putting yourself down or ruminating on your faults and failures. Envy truly stems from pride, and Lent is a penitential season so this may sound counter-intuitive, but really it’s not. There is a certain sadness that comes with envy when we see others doing well. Instead of internalizing those feelings of sorrow, resentment or inadequacy, try to remind yourself that what other people do, have, or look like is none of your business and is in no way a reflection of yourself or your life. Combine this one with #3. Remind yourself that you are a beloved child of God and He doesn’t play favorites between His children. Learn how to build others up without tearing yourself down.

9. Schadenfreude. I mentioned this earlier, Schadenfreude is the pleasure derived from someone else’s misfortune. When you catch yourself reveling in your neighbor’s misfortune (no matter how badly you think they had it coming) pray a rosary for them.

10. If you find yourself getting jealous and resentful of someone you don’t know, try to befriend that person. Lots of times we judge people without even knowing them and get catty or snarky behind their backs, but once we actually get to know and befriend them we find our nasty remarks and petty prejudices were just fruits from an envious heart.

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       Wrath.There are 2 kinds of anger; one is the natural anger that comes after a true injustice is done. This is called justifiable anger; think of Jesus in the temple with the money changers or more modernly, the anger against terrorists after the shootings in Paris. There is nothing wrong with the sort of righteous indignation that automatically comes to us from seeing God’s laws so grievously broken. That’s more a passion for righteousness which is not a sin in and of itself. However the second kind of anger, which is a deadly sin, is defined by St. Thomas Aquinas as “A passion for revenge that goes beyond the control of reason.” What does that mean? Well think of the eye for an eye law back in the Old Testament. The law wasn’t meant to be a law of revenge, rather it was meant to mean if you steal my cow you owe me a cow. Translation: you have to give back equal what was taken, not more as is so commonly misconstrued. That law didn’t mean you stole my cow now give me your best cow and 3 sheep to make it up to me, or you stole my cow so I’m going to steal your kid until I get it back. You see that is a desire for revenge that is unreasonable. Wrath is the desire to punish others to a greater extent than deserved or to purposefully hurt them. The counterpoints to wrath are patience and forgiveness.

What to give up/ take up: 

1. I think this should be obvious but (just in case it’s not) you should try to give up those grudges you’re holding. This can be extremely difficult depending on the severity of the transgression committed, but try to forgive the person/s that have hurt you. Look up the Catholic definition of forgiveness just to be clear, because forgiving someone doesn’t necessarily mean letting that person continue being in your life or to continue to hurt you.

2. If number one is too hard then try praying a Divine Mercy Chaplet for your enemies once a day.

3. Stop giving people you hate insulting nicknames in your head like “Captain Creeper“, “Mommy Dearest“, or “Blabs All Britney“. As hard as it may be, try to see them as a person Christ died for instead.

4. Road rage. If you suffer from this then try listening to Catholic podcasts or radios in the car to keep your cool. If you need something a little more heavy-duty, pray a decade of the rosary or the whole thing if your anger is really bad.

5. Eye rolling, stink faces, exaggerated sighs, and under your breath comments aimed at people we dislike. Come on, we learned this wasn’t cool to do in kindergarten. What makes you think it’s still acceptable to behave that way at your age?

6. Rehearsing and imagining that perfectly timed and executed revenge speech in your head towards that person/s you hate. I don’t care how good of a comeback you’ve concocted or how much that person “deserves” a thorough set down, if it isn’t constructive to that person don’t say it out loud or in your head.

7. If you have anger management issues, search for a healthy way to vent your anger. I immediately recommend seeing a therapist, but if you don’t think your anger is to that level then try a kickboxing class or take up running.

8. Write letters. Now this may sound strange, but it is a trick my mom taught me and it has helped me numerous times. Whenever you are angry or upset with someone sit down and write a letter to them. Tell them why you are hurt, how it makes you feel, and what you want from them to make the situation better. Really don’t spare anything! Then when you finish the letter tear it up and throw it away, or if you think your letter was written respectfully and might help the situation then give it the other person. Venting your feelings and thinking about what you want to come of the situation often helps put things into perspective.

9. Practice self-soothing methods whenever you feel your anger rising. These can be as simple as closing your eyes and slowly counting to ten, or the “Jesus” prayer where you mentally say “Je” on the inhale and “sus” on the exhale. Repeat until calm.

10. Snap yourself out of it. This is a simple brain training exercise where you wear a hair-tie/elastic/rubber band around your wrist and whenever you feel yourself stewing in your anger or returning to past offenses snap the band around your wrist. The slight sting helps train your mind to avoid the tendencies that it has towards anger.

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       Sloth.This particular sin is one that comes with a bit of confusion as to what it really is. The common misconception of sloth is that it is simply laziness. That is not true. In fact an incredibly busy and active person can suffer from the deadly sin of sloth. How? Well sloth isn’t so much a spirit of laziness as it is a spiritual laziness. Sloth is a culpable lack of physical or spiritual effort towards living the faith and practicing virtue. In a nutshell it can be boiled down to lukewarmness or indifference to spiritual things. So it makes sense that the way to offset the spirit of sloth is by adopting a spirit of diligence and mission.

What to give up/take up: 

1. Time. Give up some of your time once a week to volunteer or do some form of charity work. It can be volunteering at your local soup kitchen/crisis pregnancy center/animal shelter etc… Having trouble finding something? Then go to Volunteer Match and type in your city and they will give you a list of available places that need volunteers.

2. Study. Commit yourself to some form of spiritual study once a day this Lent. Set aside 15-30 minutes of time devoted purely to self-study. Do it ESPECIALLY when you don’t feel like it. Either read sacred scripture, apologetics, the catechism, the writings/lives of the saints…ANYTHING! There are tons of resources out there and a lot of them are free so no excuses. *Shia Labeouf voice* JUST DO IT!!!

3. How about giving up praying only when you “feel” like it. Pray every day at least for 5 minutes whether you “feel” up to it or not. We are called to live in relationship with God, but anyone can tell you if you are in a relationship with someone you can’t just talk to them only when you “feel” like it. Relationships thrive because of communication. They wither and die without it.

4. Go to adoration. Spend some time with Jesus, doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like your heart is in it or you don’t know what to say. Just go and sit quietly in his presence for 5 minutes once a day or week.

5. Become a missionary or just find a mission! You can sign up and go with others to do missionary work of some sort. If that sounds like more of a commitment than you think you have in you, then find something you are passionate about inside the church, and join others in their efforts to pursue that mission whether it is evangelization or the fight for human rights. You don’t have to go to third world countries or the March For Life (though those are great if you do) to make a difference. You can make a difference by just educating those around you about natural family planning or basic rights for all human life.

6. Daydreaming during Mass. We’re only human and of course our minds are going to tend to want to wander now and then.  But when you notice this happening try to focus on the Mass by mentally saying the priest’s words in your head or by closing your eyes and envisioning the scenarios of the liturgical readings playing out in your mind like a movie.

7. Join something! Become a part of a bible study or one of the various organizations your local parish or university offers. There are the Knights of Columbus, FOCUS groups, The Legion of Mary, The St. Vincent De Paul Society, etc…

8. Do an examination of conscience every night before you go to bed or work on doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

9. Saying “God” or “Jesus” out of context or taking the Lord’s name in vain. (Example: Cursing or saying “Oh my God” or “Jesus Christ” as flippant casual expressions)

10. Skipping Mass. Seriously that’s actually a mortal sin if you miss The Lord’s Day (Sunday or Saturday evening) Mass intentionally. (This excludes being sick, taking care of the sick, or being unable to find a way there.) Be sure to go to confession before partaking of The Eucharist the next time you go.

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       Greed is defined as the excessive or immoderate love of or desire for riches, material things, or power. The sin of greed isn’t so much about the amount of wealth, personal property or power that a person has, so much as it is the attitude or unreasonable value that one places on these things, and the attachment and unwillingness to let them go should duty call for it. Avarice is a deadly sin because it is like the wing-man to all the other deadly sins. It can lead a person to commit great sins such as murder, theft, gluttony, manipulation, deceptiveness etc… Greed is the sin of excess and selfishness so its virtuous offset is charity/love.

What to give/take up: 

1. Do a “money fast”. It’s simple: give up one luxury of yours such as your daily coffee shop trip, your weekly fast food addiction, or your monthly World of Warcraft fee. Then take all the money you would have spent on these things and put it in a jar. On Easter, donate all the money you saved to a good cause you believe in. If you don’t think you can be trusted to  leave the money in a jar that long, then just immediately donate it as you go along.

2. Try a tithing system. Whenever you treat yourself, give 10% off the cost of said treat to charity. (Example: Buy a $10 book and donate $1 to the poor; buy a $5 cup of coffee and give 50 cents.) See, super easy right?

3. Being a workaholic. How is working too much greedy? Well, it can be greedy in that you work to make more money than you technically need, which takes you away from other responsibilities. It can also mean that you are greedy for power. Working to better yourself is a good thing, but remember moderation in all things.

4. Donate. Go through your old clothes, send $5 bucks to a charity, give that old cellphone to a battered women’s shelter, take those boxes of food you’ve pushed to the back of the cabinet to a food donation center, put an extra couple bucks in the donation plate. There are tons of ways to be charitable without breaking the bank.

5. Simplify your life. If you have 20 video games narrow it down to 10. Do this likewise with other things such as clothing, shoes, accessories, etc… Get rid of all the unnecessary baggage you keep with you. If you haven’t used it or worn it in a year then get rid of it. The more you have the more you fear losing it, so pitch some of that stuff and learn to be happy with less.

6. Start making lists of “wants” versus “needs”. Define exactly what is a want and what is a need. Keep this list on you at all times and whenever you are tempted to buy something for yourself take out your list and put it in the proper category.

7. Every time you feel anxious about money or find yourself thinking about it too much read Matthew 6:25-34 (keep it somewhere close to you), then pray, “Jesus, I trust in You.”

8. Pass along those spiritual books/holy cards/medals/etc that you’ve slowly accumulated to others, or give them to your local parish.

9. Window/online shopping. Window shopping isn’t bad on its own but if you’re the type to feel a little depressed after seeing all the things you don’t have or can’t afford, then try to give it up this season.

10. Make a gratitude list. Every day keep track of the things you have to be grateful for that day. Fill your list with big things and little things such as the gift of your awesome family, the nice weather, the gift of your Catholic faith, the fact you woke up on time for once, or whatever strikes you that day. Aim for having at least 5 things a day to be grateful for on your list.

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       Gluttony is best defined by the church as an obsessive or over excessive relationship with food. Overeating is not only physically damaging it can also become spiritually harmful, as we can sometimes mask our spiritual hungers with that of our physical one. Food is often one of the easiest and first crutches people go to when they are dealing with emotional turmoil. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing in moderation, the repeated use of food as a sort of temporary “picker upper” can turn into an obsession, a disorder, or in some cases a real addiction. Temperance is the cardinal virtue best set to counteract the sin of gluttony. It gives us a healthy moderation towards things in our lives and self-control over our desires and passions.

What to give up/ take up:

1. Alcohol/drugs/smoking. Obviously these things are all harmful to the body, even wine in excess amounts.

2. If you suspect you are an emotional overeater, then try to keep a food & feelings journal. Write down every thing you eat every day, plus your mood or feelings at the time you eat it. This will help you find out what your emotional triggers are and what you may be covering up with food.

3. Give up making excuses not to work out or exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to be torture. Go for a daily walk, do yoga or pilates, bust out your sweet dance moves to your favorite songs once a day, watch free exercise videos on youtube… really there are so many things you can do that can adjust to any schedule.

4. Stop snacking between meals. Either commit to eating 3 meals a day or space it out by eating 6 SMALLER meals a day.

5. Give up some of your time by volunteering at a soup kitchen or food pantry. Seeing how others are struggling just to get daily meals might inspire you to curb your excesses.

6. Caffeine. I’m not saying you have to go cold turkey, but commit to cutting out one or two of your caffeine fixes a day. That’s just one less cup of coffee or one less energy drink a day.

7. Thinking about food during work/school/Mass etc… When you feel tempted to think about food at a time when you really shouldn’t, say a quick prayer like the Our Father, The Glory Be, or a Hail Mary.

8. Watching the Food Network channel, cooking videos, or looking up food pictures on Instagram and Tumblr. Seriously these things only trigger the craving receptors in your brain. Unless you are looking for a recipe to make for a meal you’re getting ready to cook, don’t look at these things!

9. Swap one junk food item a day with a healthier option. Start off small, like swapping a can of soda for a cup of water or a healthy tea. You can swap those fries for carrot sticks or cherry tomatoes or whatever veggie does it for you, or swap that sweet treat for a sweet fruit. It’s all about moderation. You don’t have to give up all your guilty pleasures but there should be a healthy balance in your diet.

10. Stop self-diagnosing or self-treating your problems. If you suspect you might have a real eating problem, disorder, or addiction then seek help from a licensed professional. No it doesn’t make you weak, in fact it makes you strong because you’ve identified a problem in yourself and you are actively taking steps to face it. That’s pretty darn brave in my books. Yes, talking to someone about your eating problems can be scary, but living the rest of your life with an untreated disorder is even scarier.

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       Lust. The sin of Lust is defined as an inordinate desire for or enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Before I go into more detail with this one I would first just like to point out that we are Catholics not Shakers; we believe in sex. We believe in the goodness and pleasures of sex. Contrary to popular belief, we Catholics view sex not in a negative light but rather with the highest of regards. Sexuality and the act of sex are beautiful gifts from God.  However, they serve a divine purpose intended solely for those who are joined together in the holy sacrament of marriage. Sex and sexuality become sinful when practiced outside of marriage, when sought for one’s own pleasures, or when isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes. To sum it up more easily, lust is the using of another human being or anything else as a means to your own sexual pleasure. The cure for lust is chastity. Chastity does not necessarily equate to virginity. Anyone can be chaste in any state of life or vocation. Husbands and wives can still have sex and be chaste and those who are not married or virgins can be chaste. Chastity is the virtue that moderates the desire for sexual pleasure according to the principles of faith.

What to give up/ take up: 

1. Porn. If you suffer from porn addiction or just casually watching porn sign up for a web filtering site like Covenant Eyes/Net Nanny/CyberSITTER etc… or download the Overcome Porn 40 Day Challenge app.

2. Give up seeing others as objects. When you meet or see someone who tempts you to impurity or the thoughts of it, try to see them as a whole person, not just the sum of their body parts. Take notice that this person is a beloved child of God, a person with a network of family and friends who care about and cherish them… a person with dreams, hopes, hobbies, and past hurts… a person who is unique in their tastes and in their thinking and a person who is worthy of dignity and respect.

3. Any tv shows/movies/books/or music that may trigger any arousing thoughts. In this day and age it is incredibly hard to watch something or read something without running into some sort of graphically depicted sex scene but these are like adding ammunition to your brain. Once a thought or image is there it will stay there and may reappear randomly days or moths later. It’s just like that really embarrassing thing you did when you were younger that loves to pop up at random moments for no reason. If you don’t want the random flash mob of tempting images or thoughts then stay away from the sources.

4. Friends who tempt you to commit lust or tease you about your chaste beliefs or anyone for that matter with whom you find yourself in a manipulative or casual sexual relationship. (I.E. get rid of your friends with benefits, booty callers, late night sexters, cyber Skypers, Netflix and Chillers etc…) You are worth more respect than that and so are they.

5. Fantasizing. Whenever you are tempted to fantasize about someone or something, have a go-to prayer for purity memorized or kept somewhere with you at all times, so you can recite it as soon as the thought arises. Engage your brain into doing other tasks that will force you to concentrate and so keep it from wandering. Or check out Wrath #10.

6. Take up the recovering addict’s sense of “alertness”. Those who have overcome addictions can tell you that one key step in keeping clean is the practice of constant and conscious awareness. They know that if they go to a place where they used to “give in” to their vices, they will be tempted to relapse again no matter how long they have been clean. They pointedly avoid the places and people that associate with their old addiction. Just like recovering alcoholics don’t go into bars, you don’t allow yourself to go into situations that could tempt you to fall. Some examples could be going out alone with an old flame (always include a 3rd party if you know you are weak), staying at your boy/girlfriend’s house overnight, or, if you are in a relationship, talking to that co-worker you are attracted to (anymore than necessary). Know your weaknesses and steer clear of obvious temptations.

7. Texting, talking online to, or sending pics/snapchats to strangers or people you don’t really know all that well. It may seem innocent enough at first but if you know you are easily tempted into conversations that can devolve into lustful topics then just steer clear entirely. Don’t flirt with temptation; you will only fall for it.

8. Have Masses said for all those suffering with sexual sins and for those others who have been hurt by them. Don’t forget to include yourself in that list.

9. Begin practicing modesty in your dress and in your speech. Stop with the dirty jokes and insinuating comments. When it comes to modesty in your attire that is a bit tricky, given there isn’t an all across the board dress code. However, a good rule of thumb is to avoid DELIBERATELY causing sexual excitement in oneself or another. You can’t help how others may react to your dressing… that’s on them, but you do know when your attire is purposefully provocative and I’m not just talking to the ladies here. Guys you know you don’t need to work out with your shirts off; a tank top will suffice.

10. Talk to your mother! Develop a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady is the model of chastity and while it may seem like someone who is an ever-virgin can’t help you with sexual sin you couldn’t be more wrong. Our Blessed Mother is our most powerful intercessor and she embodies the beauty of self-control. She was given the grace of being without sin, but don’t forget she had free will as well and for her part she knows what it is like to live in a time that is rampant with a sex driven society. Our Lady is without judgement and she wants nothing but the best for her children, so pick up that rosary and call your Mama at least once a week.

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There you go, that’s 70 ideas to give/take up for Lent! I hope at least one of these will help you draw closer to Christ this penitential season. I’d also like to remind you that these are not laws! If you break one, don’t give up and don’t beat yourself up. Just get up, dust yourself off and try again. Baby steps are okay too. If you don’t think you can commit fully to something, start off slow and then work your way up. Just make sure you are challenging yourself a little bit. Happy Lent, and may God be with you during all of your observances!

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