Each Lenten Season we are enter into the season by making a sacrifice.  This Lent, let's all do the same thing:  something that will make us “better” versions of whom God has given us the potential to be.

This year, instead of or in addition to making a sacrifice such as giving up chocolate for Lent, we are asking each of us to engage in Dynamic Catholic’s Lenten program, The Best Lent Ever.  The purpose of the program is to use Lent to become better versions of ourselves.

You should know the program’s creator, Matthew Kelly.  We’ve linked to his videos in our weekly emails, the Mary Garden, and we’ve distributed some of his book, Rediscovering Catholicism, Rediscover Jesus and, most recently, Resisting Happiness which is the focus of this year’s Lenten Program’s materials.  More importantly, many of you have said that you find his material helpful.

Two things we like about the program:  first, the program helps us focus on things about ourselves that stand in way of our being the Best we can be, the people God knows we can be. This program is the best Lenten program we reviewed; and, second, the Best Lent Ever program comes with no monetary cost to you or to the parish.

Here is the short Best Lent ever suggested daily routine for the 40 days of Lent.  All of this is listed in the bulletin insert, on our website and in our weekly TheMaryGarden email sent to parishioners.

  1. Sometime before Ash Wednesday, go to the BestLentEver website and sign up for the Lenten Daily emails.
  2. Each day of Lent, prayerfully open the Best Lent Ever email and take a few minutes to watch the short video and read the tips and try to apply it to yourself.
  3. On Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Sunday join us at Mass’ Offertory as we pray together a special Lenten Prayer which will be in the worship aid.
  4. And, if you can, talk about what you are learning from the material, perhaps at the dinner table, or form or join a study group using the Resisting Happiness Study Guide which is on our website.

If you can, let us know what you think of the Best Lent Ever and how you are using it.  And, if you do not have access to email and the internet but wish to view the videos at the Parish Center, or obtain copies of the Study Guide, please contact the Parish Center.

Note:  When we do something like this which has each of us working on being and becoming the best versions of ourselves, it is really making us, SMC, the best version of itself.  May we be mindful of Jesus’ presence among us as we strive to make this the Best Lent Ever.


Source:  Dynamic Catholic's Best Lent Ever

Lenten Prayer for TRANSFORMATION

Loving Father,

I invite you into my life today
and make myself available to you.
Help me to become the-best-version-of-myself
by seeking your will and becoming a living example
of your love in the world.
Open my heart to the areas of my life that need to change
in order for me to carry out the mission
and experience the joy you have imagined for my life.
Inspire me to live the Catholic faith
in ways that are dynamic and engaging.
Show me how to best get involved in the life of my parish.
Make our community hungry for best practices
and continuous learning.
Give me courage when I am afraid,
hope when I am discouraged,
and clarity in times of decision.
Teach me to enjoy uncertainty and lead your Church
to become all you imagined it would be
for the people of our times.  Amen.

Lenten Prayer for ASH WEDNESDAY

God of goodness and mercy,

Hear my prayer as I begin this Lenten journey with you. Let me be honest with myself as I look into my heart and soul, noticing the times I turn away from you. Guide me as I humbly seek to repent and return to your love.

May humility guide my efforts to be reconciled with you and live forever in your abundant grace.

Transform me this Lent, heavenly Father. Give me the strength to commit myself to grow closer to you each day.  Amen.


Heavenly Father,

As I enter another week of my Lenten journey, guide me to the path that leads to you. Fill my heart with gratitude, patience, strength, and peace as I strive to become the-best-version-of-myself, honestly admitting my shortcomings and sins.

As I renew my resolve each day to become a better person, let me hear your voice in the deepest reaches of my heart. Give me rest in you.

Help me to accept others, showing them your great love instead of casting judgment.

Stay with me through the busy days this week and remind me that when I need comfort, solitude, wisdom, or guidance, I can always turn to you.

Help me develop discipline and generosity through fasting and almsgiving, and come closer to you through prayer this Lent.

In your name I pray.  Amen.

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