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Think like an apostle: Week 4 of the Apostolic Mindset Lenten Challenge

Like the apostles before us, the Church is called to be bold in this apostolic age. To do this, we must start thinking like the apostles did and heeding our own call as Christ’s apostles who are living today.

This Lent, we challenge you to be more intentional about putting on an apostolic mindset by taking up the following practices during each of the five weeks of the Lenten season. Each week will be focused on one of the five characteristics of an apostolic mindset and contains practices meant to bring you more deeply into that characteristic and apply it to your own life.

Our fervent prayer is that as we journey through the Lenten season together and prepare to proclaim Christ’s death and resurrection to the world during the Easter season, these characteristics and practices become commonplace in our own walk with Christ and therefore better equip us to be the apostles we are called to be.

Week 1 (March 6-12): Unique Calling from the Father

Memory Verse: But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

• Discern and cultivate your gifts and talents using a temperament assessment tool (Like this one!)
• Volunteer at your parish
• Use your gifts to help one person
• Make a “joy” list: Write down five things that bring you joy; start a gratitude practice
• Do a nightly examen – reflect on the day and meditate on where God was present

Further reading: Answer the call and find joy in the Father

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Week 2 (March 13-19): Costly Imitation of Christ

Memory Verse: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

• Pray the Stations of the Cross, being intentional about forgiveness that you need to give others
• Almsgiving: Give up one thing that brings you comfort (in addition to your Lenten penance)
• Give away material goods you don’t need or no longer use
• Retreat to pray, as Jesus did; make a holy hour
• Fast and abstain from eating meat on Wednesday and Friday

Further reading: Hold up the Cross is costly imitation of Christ

Week 3 (March 20-26): Utter Reliance on the Holy Spirit

Memory Verse: And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)

• Pray a decade of the rosary while meditating on Pentecost
• Pray the Litany of Trust
• Carry a rosary in your pocket, and let it be a token to ask God for the grace to give up control and trust in Him
• Do something that’s out of your comfort zone
• Pray in silence for one hour, listening intently and expectantly for the Holy Spirit to speak; if you feel a prompting, respond! Don’t think.

Further reading: Relying on the mysterious gift of the Holy Spirit

Week 4 (March 27-April 2): Conviction of the Primacy of the Power of the Gospel

Memory Verse: In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

• Pray through your baptismal promises
• Read the daily Gospel
• Join or start a bible study (or invite someone else to join)
• Gift someone a bible or donate one to schools, prisons, etc.
• Read the early Church Fathers
• Consider enrolling in the SJV Lay Division

Further reading: The ‘Why’ behind every other ‘Why’

Week 5 (April 3-9): Being a Joyfully Countercultural Witness

Memory Verse: These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)

• Go to confession
• Take stock of your own/society’s “false idols” — ask God to reveal them and joyfully reject them
• Make time for daily Mass
• Pray in a public setting like Planned Parenthood
• Joyfully share the good news of the gospel with one person

Further reading: Three steps to become a joyfully countercultural witness


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