On this Ash Wednesday, Brandon and Fr. Blake reflect on the holy season of Lent and offer advice on how to sanctify your Lenten season through spiritual reading, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

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  • Thank you Brandon! Just discovered, so providential- Lent in my favorite liturgical season, I’m blessed to have you and Fr Blake on the walk with me!

  • Thank you both for this episode!
    I can relate to Brandon a couple of years ago. Still as of yesterday I was wanting to tackle so much this lent. Your practical suggestions have really help me on this Ash Wednesday. 😉 never too late. Thank you Fr. For your kind encouragement here. I have downloaded the book Jesus of Nazareth and will be listening for the first time to it this lent.

  • What an excellent podcast! I look forward to listening to you guys again next month. I’m in my 60s and it put a whole different twist on the Lenten Season. Thank you!!!

  • Thank you so much for this podcast. So much good practical info.
    I would love to print out of the examination of conscience show notes on how to have a good lent but I cannot find it. Can someone assist?
    Thanks in advance

    Samantha from Trinidad

    • Yes Samantha. If you go to where it says “links” on this page, it is listed there. You can click on it and that will take you automatically to the PDF.

  • I learn so much from listening to Brandon and Fr. Blake. I especially like hearing I can break my lent during the solemnity of St Joseph and The Annunciation. I also enjoy watching the pure, respectful, and honest relationship between these 2 friends.

  • I am 71 years old and have never heard such a thorough, enligtening and meaningful explanation of Lent. Thank you. I will pass this on to the younger families in my circle.

  • There are no words to describe how much I’ve enjoyed this session with the two of you. Thank you so much . You’ve inspired me to do my best through this lent , mainly with my battle with gluttony.

  • Thanks for your great podcast! I have a quick question. I know that you recommend the RSV-2CE translation of the bible in English. What bible translation would you recommend in Spanish? I’m British but have lived in Spain for almost twenty years and am fluent in Spanish. I attend mass in Spanish so would like a to buy a Spanish bible also. Thanks for your help.

  • Brandon -Thank you! One thing I don’t think you touched on (and my wife and I disagree on) is whether or not Sundays are considered part of lent. My understanding is that they are not. Do you continue your Lenten sacrifices on Sundays?

    • It’s a good question. You’ll find mixed expressions through Church history–some Church leaders say *no* fasting on Sundays at all, others say *all Lent* is a time of fasting, Sundays included. Personally, I continue my Lenten sacrifices even on Sunday. For several years, I would allow myself *one* exception. So if I was giving up five particular things for Lent I would still fast from four of them on Sundays. However, I came to see how that one indulgence open the door to laxity and made it harder for me to be faithful to the fasting the other six days. So, now I just continue the fast. But pray about it and ask the Lord what he wants for you. I have many good and holy friends who discern not to fast on Sundays or do what I did, and introduce one thing you gave you up. In the end, it’s about holiness! So, whatever will lead you to holiness and attachment to Christ, do it!

    • Yes. You continue your Lenten sacrifices on Sunday. The only time fasts are lifted is the Solemnities of St. Joseph and Annunication. An easy rule of thumb is, “If we sing the Gloria, then we do not fast”. We do not sing the Gloria on Sundays during Lent because it is still part of the Lenten season. But, we do sing the Gloria for St. Joseph and Annunciation because it is outside of the season. Here is a good article for it: https://www.churchpop.com/2016/02/26/is-there-really-a-sunday-exception-during-lent/

      • I wondered this too as I listened to your, as always, wonderful Podcast. I was taught in RCIA about not fasting during Lenten Sundays. The other 2 solemnities you brought up were a new wrinkle I’d not pondered. Great stuff. Anyway, the attached article makes the point that you can always do personal fasting on a solemnity feast day. As usual, prayer and discernment will pave the way. I am gonna make sure I get my 40 days in the desert! Great suggestion on focusing on a Saint (I think you had it in an earlier episode too)—I am tackling Chesterton’s book on Aquinas. Pray for me. Keep up the great, unparalleled work, and I, for one, am ALWAYS happy when you run long. Not-so secretly hoping for 3 hours by the end 2021! https://www.catholic.com/qa/is-fasting-on-sundays-prohibited

  • I gave up TV for Lent. I watched the video simply because I couldn’t watch TV. I am on fire to have the best Lent of my life! Inspiring and informational and told with joy.

  • I think it would be beautiful to have a practice where the morning liturgy of the hours is said together right in the Church before daily mass. Since the priest and deacons already need to do this as part of their daily practice, it would seem good to engage the the whole parish in the same practice for the Lenten season. It would introduce the Divine Office in a group setting where people can learn about it and acclimate to the idea of doing it. Then it’s not someone sitting in their house, probably with lots of distractions, trying to figure out ribbons and so forth by themselves.

    Most parishes have daily masses that are too late in the morning for most working people to attend. That’s unfortunate since it affects most of the people aged 20-65 which, in the USA, is something north of 50% of the total population excluding minors, unemployed, night workers, etc. By having the liturgy of the hours before mass, many of the daytime working people could be engaged in the liturgical life of the Church even though they can’t stay to attend daily mass. By introducing this as a Lenten activity, maybe it sticks and continues the rest of the year.

  • Today, the first Friday of lent I have been so overwhelmed, not knowing what is wrong. Unable to sort out my priorities for lent. Stressed , tension. I prayed for God to send some writing, book or something to help. I am SO grateful I was led to watch this new episode. I was adding way to much as I’m already reading two books, AM and night prayer, a rosary a day , ect. What I realized is that I need to focus on Liturgical and private prayer (both of which I can do better). A peace came over me. God Bless you both.

  • Hi guys,

    I like how you challenge people to live a holier lent but also ease up on people who are not to that level. I have one particular thing I’m giving up, looking at FB less and praying more. The tricky thing for me is to actually pray more. Fasting from doing nothing is rather hard for me due to my ADHD and lack of sleep and indecisiveness. I wish I was up to the level where I fast more in the way your talking about, but I do have a fast that I think is right for me at this time. My overall goal is to get closer to Christ. Fr. Casey Cole also gave some good advice and an approach to Lent somewhat different then yours but just as helpful. I’m going to reflect on what you both have said and try to apply it. Regardless pray I follow God’s lead. You guys are great. Keep up the good work.

  • The podcast on “How to have a holy Lent” was so informative. The podcast filled in many of the gaps in my educational background and formation for the diaconate. I came upon your podcasts a couple of months ago, and will be working “backwards” listening to them.
    Thanks Brandon and Fr. Blake for you time and wisdom in putting them together.

  • For an exhaustive, enlightening, and uplifting review on how to have a holy Lent, I cannot imagine a better source of enthusiastic recommendations. It is long, but view it all even if only in bits and pieces. Remember that they are not saying “Do it all!” but rather, “Pick out what God leads you to give a try.”

  • A spiritual marathon episode! Thank you so much for sharing key historic information and practical tips for us all to make the most of God’s grace during Lent. Lots to think about and practice. Looking forward to the next episode on St. Joseph. God Bless you all and may you all grow in holiness this season.

  • What is the St Joseph consecration book Fr Blake mentioned? I bought the Calloway one, but I am finding his repetitive narrative style distracting.

  • Thanks for the great breakdown of the history, meaning, and purpose of Lent. The one question I have that you didn’t address is whether you can break the Lenten fast on Sunday. I’ve heard priests/ parishioners say that Sunday is a feast day so we are not required to keep the fast that day. Is there any legitimacy to this? Thanks!

    • Good question! There’s significant debate about this (see the comments above). This might be a place where Fr. Blake and I disagree! The Church doesn’t have a formal teaching that says you have to fast on Lenten Sundays. In fact, the 1962 rules for fasting, before the liturgical changes *softened* the rules, explicitly said, “No fasting on Sundays and First Order feast days (aka solemnities).” From the very earliest days, the Church has declared that Sunday, the day of Christ’s Resurrection, is *always* a feast day, and therefore fasting on Sundays has always been forbidden.

      Now, you can personally choose to continue your Lenten sacrifices on Sundays (like Fr. Blake does) but it’s just not obligatory, and in some ways the Church actually discourages it.

      Personally, I examine all the things I’m fasting from during Lent and I’ll allow myself one of those things on Sundays during Lent–which for me usually means a few cups of Diet Pepsi, my drink of choice! (I give up soda throughout the rest of Lent.) But even on Sundays I still fast from sweets, television, movies, and social media. That’s enough to keep me in the spirit of Lenten fasting while also adequately appreciating the feasting of Sundays. Our family also gives up eating out at restaurants during Lent, but on some Sundays we’ll go out as a family to a restaurant for a long, good meal. I’ve found that’s another good way to honor both disciplines, to make your feasting communal or familial, and not individual.

      Here’s a good article if you want more background on the “fasting on Sundays” question: https://www.learnreligions.com/fast-on-sundays-during-lent-3970756

  • Thank you Brandon and Fr. Britton for these wonderful insights into Lent. My wife and I have been practicing the Great Fast for the last ten years. It’s so wonderful to hear you share this amazing practice with your listeners. Like y’all said, it really opens your eyes to the joy of fasting and feasting. And thank you for sharing that I may feast on St. Joseph’s Day and the Feast of the Annunciation. :O)!!!! May God bless you both during this Lenten season. In Christ, Mo

  • I appreciate the clarifications on whether to keep the fast on Sundays. (I’m with you, Brandon, on indulging one thing on Sundays). But it brings up another question: how do you count the actual 40 days of Lent? If you count Ash Wednesday till Easter, you get something like 46, right? If you subtract the Sundays you get 40 days…which seems to argue in favor of lifting your fast. But then you have to count the Triduum, which is not technically a part of Lent (right?) How does the Church count 40 days?

  • Thank you for the Lenten talk. I’m new to fasting during Lent, so it was quite a revelation to me, and quite daunting in parts, who’s always tried to ignore it. I’m quite new to prayer too, and would welcome some advice on how to pray without the distractions which crowd my mind every time I make the effort. Perhaps there’s a book that you could suggest might help, or even a podcast you might consider! This year of the pandemic has been something of a bonus for me, as, here in England we’ve been confined to home so much, which allowed me to turn my thoughts towards a relationship with God that I never previously tried to cultivate. Thank you.

  • When you have 15-20 minutes quiet time a day, how do you go about this? Simply cold turkey quiet? Do you read a Psalm or something to focus the mind at all before simply being absolutely quiet and still? Is this done before or after your Office prayers? It would be interesting to see how you structure your prayer day, what prayers and when.

    What is a good way to get back on the Lenten 40 day discipline of prayer, fasting, giving alms? Thanks.

    How do Monks in monasteries typically go about Lent? Thank you!

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