Fasting, prayer, almsgiving—these are the three major ways we can challenge ourselves to become more like Christ during the holy season of Lent. We often forget that when we sin we not only hurt God our Father, but we also hurt the family of God—our brothers and sisters in Christ. Lent helps us deepen our relationship with God and turn away from sin.
Lent is also a great time to teach your children about the dignity and respect we owe each human being. This Lent, we challenge you to use the next 40 days to build a culture of life in your home and in your community.
Below are three pro-life activities that you can do with your family to help you live the pro-life message this Lent:
During Lent, we have 40 days in which to offer sacrifices for Christ—40 special days to unite our sufferings with Christ as He suffers His Passion on the cross for our sakes. Although fasting traditionally refers to food, we should also fast from things that keep us from growing closer to God—like the media, fashion, money, or fame. As we have seen over and over during the 40 Days for Life Campaign, fasting and prayer work to change hearts and save babies.
Pick a day of the week to give up one meal for the protection of mothers and their preborn babies. As an alternative, encourage your children to eat a food they don’t particularly enjoy as a sacrifice to help babies.
- Dr. Jérôme Lejeune and Trisomy 21 shows your children what it means to sacrifice worldly fame in order to honor God. Dr. Lejeune gave up worldly accolades because he stood up for his pro-life principles.
- No Greater Love: Saint Maximilian Kolbe teaches 7-8th grade students what giving up your life for another really means by using the example of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the martyr of Auschwitz.
- There is no greater epic love story than the story of Christ’s death on the cross. In Dream of the Rood, high school students study the medieval poem and learn what it means to follow in Jesus’ footsteps to become heroes.
- Blessed Chiara Luce Badano’s acceptance of suffering encourages teens like her to tie their sufferings to the cross. Teach high school students her story with Embracing a Culture of Life: Blessed Chiara Luce Badano.
Prayer can help us transform ourselves to living the pro-life message as we intercede for others before the throne of our heavenly Father. Prayer campaigns like Bringing Jesus to Planned Parenthood through Mary have saved countless lives and closed down abortion mills.
God already knows what we need before we ask Him. Prayer is one of the ways we speak to God and open our hearts for Him to speak to us. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches His disciples to pray to God like a child speaking to his father. Prayer should come from the heart, praising God, expressing our needs, asking for His help, and thanking Him for His generosity.
This Lent, pray especially for
- Mothers and fathers considering abortion
- Babies in danger of death from abortion
- Mothers and fathers who have experienced the trauma of abortion
- Abortion workers and those who participate in abortion, for their conversion
- Those who work to end abortion
As the Bible repeatedly reminds us, God hears our prayers. All we need to do is have faith and ask.
As a family, pray the rosary for the safety of pregnant moms and their preborn babies. Make a list of five pregnant moms you know and pray one decade of the rosary for each. You can also pray one decade for each pro-life intention: for mothers and fathers considering abortion, for babies in danger of death from abortion, for mothers and fathers who have experienced the trauma of abortion, for the conversion of abortion workers, and for pro-lifers who work to end abortion.
- Teach your children to ask the intercession of the Blessed Mother with Honoring the Blessed Mother, a one-class lesson for 3rd and 4th grade students.
- Help young children understand the concept of spiritual adoption with our free lesson entitled Ladybug Warriors, which teaches children about Our Lady’s intercession for preborn babies.
Almsgiving is more than just donating money. Almsgiving can also mean giving generously of your time and talents to serve others. Generosity builds a culture of life because it helps us to see the needs of others and respond to those needs with open, unselfish actions.
This Lent, encourage generosity in your children. Where has your family received an overflow of God’s blessings? Has God has blessed your family with more than enough food, enough clothes and toys, or many children who can volunteer their time? Choose a Corporal Work of Mercy to perform as a family. Volunteer, serve at a food kitchen, or donate items to those who have less.
- Using the picture book Elmer and Butterfly by David McKee, teach your children how to help others with the one-class lesson entitled Caring for the Least of These.
- No other modern saint is as well-known for her works for the poor than Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Share her beautiful story with Do Small Things with Great Love: Saint Teresa of Calcutta for K-2nd grade students or Serving the Poorest of the Poor: St. Teresa of Calcutta for 5-6th grade students.
- Would you give up everything to serve God, help others, and possibly die in the mission field? When Heroes Become Saints: Saint Damien de Veuster of Molokai tells 5-6th grade students the story of Saint Damien de Veuster, a missionary to the lepers of Molokai, who treated his fellow man with dignity even though it meant exposure to one of the most feared diseases of his day.
Check out more ideas for building a culture of life this Lent on our Lenten Ideas Pinterest Board at pinterest.com/cultureoflife/lenten-ideas.
Mary Kizior is the Product Development and Marketing Manager for the Culture of Life Studies Program. Her work has appeared on LifeSiteNews.com, Christ Is Our Hope magazine, Celebrate Life Magazine, Defend Life magazine, the Peanut Butter and Grace blog, and other blogs.