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SIMPLE40
Lent 2024

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About SIMPLE40

SIMPLE40 is a Catholic Lenten program designed to simplify your Lenten experience so you can receive all the graces being offered to you by God during this holy and transformational season in the life of the Church. Simple does not mean easy. In this case simple means choosing with intention those things to work on that will draw you closer to God. That is the purpose of Lent. We pray, fast and give alms with a concerted and focused effort to grow spiritually. 

The 3 pillars of the Integrated Life are the foundation of this program:
1) Spiritual (pray) - read daily SIMPLE40 email message, pray, meditate, journal, worship 40 minutes/day
2) Self (fast) - fast from 3 things that give you pleasure (or more...or less...what is going to challenge you? See below for ideas), intentional movement/exercise 40 minutes/day
3) Service (give alms) - 40 intentional acts of service over the course of Lent (see list below for ideas)

 

Your daily email will contain a short reflection on simplicity and virtue, encouragement during your fast, and optional videos and music to enhance your Lent. As always, I have a collection of 40 recipes to share.

SPIRITUAL

SIMPLE40 provides daily growth and formation in the virtue of simplicity. In addition to learning about simplicity via daily email reflections, you will spend 40 minutes in prayer/meditation per day. I recommend  that you "bookend" your days in prayer in whatever way you choose. This can be in the form of the Liturgy of the Hours morning and evening prayer, or morning offering and nightly examen. Choose at least one other DAILY spiritual activity to help you get to know God more personally this Lent. You will find that 40 minutes of prayer goes quickly. Done consistently, by the time Holy Week and Easter arrive, you are ready to embrace Christ's Passion and Resurrection with greater love and devotion. 

Here are some ideas for your prayer time:

*Rosary

*Liturgy of the Hours (I really enjoy Sing the Hours)

*Lenten devotional of your choice (Magnificat Lenten Companion, In Conversation with God, etc)

*Chaplet of Divine Mercy

*Chaplet of St. Michael

*Litany of Humility (or any litany)

*Adoration

*Examination of conscience (listen to Fr. John Hardon's Lenten Examen)

*Confession at least twice during Lent

*Daily Mass if possible

*Meditate on daily Mass readings (read or listen on an app or podcast)

*Spontaneous prayer journaling

*Gratitude rosary (mention something you are grateful for on each bead of the rosary-59 different things)

*Gratitude journal (at least 3 things you are grateful for each day)

SELF

In living the spirituality of SIMPLE40, self-knowledge and self-discipline are essential. Together, we will walk side by side with each other and step by step with Jesus through the desert by eliminating distractions in our daily lives. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, you will receive a challenge to put your phone in grayscale mode for the entirety of Lent. Doing this is proven to help your brain detach from your phone/screen.  You will also take a look at yourself through the lens of the examination of conscience based on your temperament to discern, then decide what to "give up" or "add in" to make room for Christ. When you are faced with a little discomfort and adversity, you find out who you really are and what attachments/addictions you have trouble letting go. There are many pleasures and comforts that distract us from connecting with God and others. You will be "fasting" from at least 3 luxuries/pleasures in order to focus more fully and intentionally on your spiritual growth.

 

REQUIRED: 3 required elements in this area of self-knowledge and self-care include: 

1) TEMPERAMENT: Discover your temperament and how you can lean into the beautiful person God made you to be. Take the Temperament Assessment from Metanoia Catholic

Once you know your temperament, click here to download the temperament chart (used with permission)

I highly recommend ALL the work Metanoia Catholic is doing. They have a new app and several great podcasts on the specific temperaments as well as an abundance of other content to help you learn and grow into the person God has made you to be. 

For more information on the 4 Temperaments, check this out! This is an online copy of the very first book on temperaments that I read over 20 years ago that inspired me to learn more about myself, my husband and my kids. 

 

2) INTENTIONAL MOVEMENT/EXERCISE: 40 minutes of intentional movement each day of Lent. This does not have to be a hard-core workout. If you have a device to count your steps, you can set a goal for a certain number of steps each day. It is proven that intentional exercise for 40 minutes a day (including walking) burns calories, reduces stress, improves immunity, helps to regulate blood sugar, improves your mood and overall mental health, and helps to manage your weight. Get outside if you can. 

3) FAST:  Here are ideas of little pleasures to fast from during Lent (choose 3):

*Coffee

*Alcohol

*Bread

*Sugar

*Snacking between meals

*Television - includes devices such as phone, tablet, computer, etc

*Social Media

*Fast and abstain from meat on all Lenten Wednesdays and Fridays

*Grayscale your phone (Ash Wednesday Challenge) and keep it that way throughout Lent

*Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night (a big sacrifice for some of us!)

*Music - no secular music, only classical, Catholic lo-fi, or Christian

SERVICE

Serving others (giving alms) with practical simplicity is the fruit of having a strong spiritual foundation and knowing who you are in Christ. Practical simplicity is the practice of moderation and removing any excess from your life. This requires intentionality and being true to yourself so your "yes means yes", and your "no means no". This Lent, you will be called to use your God-given gifts and talents to serve your spouse, family, friends and community in a way that brings you fulfillment and joy.

REQUIRED: Make and keep a simple budget for necessities during Lent. NO impulse or unnecessary purchases. Choosing this money mindset for Lent frees you from temptations and distractions while you are out and about shopping. It's definitely easier said than done.

CLICK HERE for a list of 100 ways to serve this Lent. Print it out and cross off the ones you complete. 

Here are some other ideas:

*Meal plan consistently and minimize trips to the grocery store

*Send hand-written notes to family/friends

*Collect food for the food bank or volunteer at your local food bank

*Spiritually adopt a mama and her unborn baby - that she may choose life

*Participate in your local 40 Days for Life campaign

*Choose to stand in the longest line at the store. No self check-out.

*Pick up someone else's trash

*No complaining

*Donate any clothing not worn in the last year (or 6 months if you live somewhere warm)

*Offer to help a new mom with a meal or cleaning

*Socialize after Mass

*Support your local Friday Fish Fry
 

Remember that you do not need to do all this stuff...just the required elements and a few other things that you know you need to work on to improve your relationship with God. If you need help honing this down, please reach out. I am here for you! I have 1:1 coaching opportunities available. Your first session is 100% FREE! 

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A POSTCARD TO FILL OUT WITH YOUR COMMITMENTS.

Luke 10:42 tells us that "one thing is needful." This one thing is God and our relationship with Him. Let's make this Lent the simplest and most fruitful one yet!

Please share with a friend if you think they would like to grow in simplicity this Lent.

 

I am looking forward to having you join me on this journey!

Your Sister In Christ,

Katie Donahue

Integrated Life Coach

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