Coming to the end of the 2nd week of Lent and a unusual time where we are limited to gathering of 8 in one household . Although we may not be able to get together with our family and friends to commemorate Lent this year, we can still take steps to ensure that we will have a fulfilling Lenten Season. 

The traditional Catholic practices of praying, fasting, and almsgiving. 

“Jesus said that God does not like it when people do righteous deeds just to look good in front of others. For example, when giving to the poor, “do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others,” Jesus said, referring to the scribes and Pharisees. 

“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” 

Jesus said the same thing regarding prayer. “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them,” he warned. “But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 

And he taught that those who are fasting shouldn’t look as if they were. “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting,” he said. “But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.””

As written in Matthew 6, Jesus talks about prayer, fasting and almsgiving. He tells us how we should carry out these three things. This Lenten season, we should do our best to adopt this attitude he asks of us. We should not let what other people think of us, influence our actions, as ultimately, their opinions do not matter. We should try, to the best of our abilities, to commit fully, in order to have a fruitful Lent. 

Firstly, prayer. We can start by praying slightly more than usual, whether it be 5 minutes or an hour. You can achieve this by keeping God in our thoughts, thanking him for any good things you experience each day. You can cultivate the habit of praying before meals, in the morning when you wake up, or just before you go to bed. It’s as simple as that!

Secondly, fasting. As a school-going teenager, I find fasting the most challenging aspect. Whether it be food, or social media, I find it hard to give up these so-called necessities in my daily life. Personally, this Lent, I want to be able to exert more self-control to give up my favourite items. Through prayer, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Lastly, almsgiving. Almsgiving is the practice of giving money or food to the less fortunate. Through almsgiving, we can share our abundant blessings from our Lord with others, who may not be as blessed. This is a good way to pass on our Lord’s generosity to others. 

Lent is a period of growth and renewal, especially for our faith. Hence, we should do our best to pray, fast and give during this period.


Grace Chan