Suggestions on what “To Do” During GREAT LENT:

 Read the following prayer daily throughout the Great Lent . . . it is called

The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian:
* O Lord and Master of my life, take away from me the spirit of laziness, meddling, ambition and gossip.
* But give to me your servant, the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love.
* Yes, Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and faults, and not to judge my brother or sister, for you are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
Each Friday in Great Lent, we celebrate the service of Salutations to the Theotokos. This service are celebrated in the evenings. Make plans to go to these evening’s service.
Examine yourself to see if you have any grudge or bitterness in your mind towards anyone. Forgive them and reconcile with them. Perhaps the hardest part will be to truly forgive them in your heart. Ask God in prayer to help you forgive and attain inner peace.
Give the money you would have spent on a meal to someone in need.
Focus on what comes out of your mouth AND what comes into your ears. Gossip is harmful and can cause trouble. So… Stop before you gossip about someone. Think about what you are saying and how it would make YOU feel. Choose to say something else or keep it to yourself. Also, choose NOT to HEAR gossip. If someone wants to share gossip with you, politely say “No, Thanks!”
Volunteer at your parish. Ask if there is anything you can help with — spring-cleaning or yard work, stuffing envelopes in the office, or even joining the priest during his visits to the elderly and shut-ins.
After Liturgy, introduce yourself to someone you don’t know or who looks new to the community.
Spend at least five minutes a day in silence in a quiet place that is not distracting. Talk to God.
Assess how you have been doing so far during Lent. Have you made any changes? Have you been faithful in spending some time to pray and/or to study the Bible? Decide on how you want to continue this Lent and make a commitment to be faithful for the rest of the Lenten journey.
Focus on what comes INTO your heart. If you get into a disagreement with someone, just try to let it go. This is difficult, but worth the effort! Moving on can help prevent an argument from becoming a bigger issue. If we let anger, judgment, or resentment enter our heart, we will not have room for Love, Patience, or Forgiveness.
Plan to attend the Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts.
Make a day a “Thank You” day! Don’t forget to give thanks to those around you for the big and little things they do; the bus-driver, the janitor at school, your teachers, your parents, your friends. Most importantly, stop to give thanks to God before you go to bed at night.
Submit names of departed loved ones and friends (first name only) to be commemorated during the Saturday of the Souls Divine and during Liturgy.
Reach out to your parish Priest or Spiritual Father and schedule an appointment for the Sacrament of Confession during Lent. (Keep in mind that they will be very busy, so it is best to do this as soon as possible.)

Take 10 minutes in a day to pick out gently-used clothes that you don’t wear anymore and donate them to the local homeless shelter.
Focus on what comes in your ears. Turn off the radio while you are driving, or take out those ear speakers when you are working out. Allow yourself to do something in silence.
Focus on what comes out of your mouth. Think of how you speak to others and how it reflects upon yourself.
Focus again on what comes into your ears. If someone is using crude or inappropriate language, step away. If you are feeling confident, tell your friend to not use that kind of language.
Focus on what comes in your eyes. Go without an entire night of TV or Internet. Hang out with your family.
Focus on what comes into your thoughts. If anything negative comes into your thoughts, do not dwell on it. Instead ask God for strength to let it go and focus on God's Love in order to be Positive. God wants the best for you!
Take some time to think about how God has blessed you in the past week. Give thanks to the Lord with specific blessings in your life.
God used the Theotokos to bring Christ into this world. Think about how God can use your life to bring Christ into this world. Wherever you are in life, God can use you. Submit yourself to God to be an instrument. Take a few minutes to think about what talents, interests, skills etc you have to offer to God so that God can use you. Like the Theotokos, may you also say, "Let it be to me according to your word."

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