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Forty Ways to Care for Your Soul this Lent

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During the forty days of Lent, you are invited to take better care of your soul. Here is a list of some traditional and not so traditional spiritual disciplines that may help you to grow in the knowledge and love of God.

  1. Call old friends to catch up, and thank them for being in your life
  2. Listen to music that moves you
  3. Refrain from gossiping and saying unkind things about others
  4. Go on a news/media fast for a period of time to lesson your anxiety
  5. Take more naps
  6. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen
  7. Clean out your closets and get rid of the unwanted stuff in your life
  8. Write a letter to a person who has wronged you, and then throw it away
  9. Participate in worship
  10. Give up drinking alcohol for Lent
  11. Set aside time each day to sit quietly with God, praying
  12. Read a book on spirituality by Henri Nouwen or Anne Lamott
  13. Give up eating out as much and donate that money to feed the hungry
  14. Make a list of five year, ten year, and twenty year goals for your life
  15. Spend more quality time with family and friends
  16. Participate in a class or retreat at your church
  17. Consider taking a break from people who are a toxic influence in your life

    Mary's Lemons

    I took this photo in Sorrento, Italy, where the lemon trees bear the largest and most flavorful fruit I’ve ever tasted. It reminds me that the fruits of the spirit will grow abundantly in the right setting.

  18. Exercise daily, breathing deeply, and giving thanks to God for your body
  19. Make a list of those whom you may have hurt
  20. Consider taking responsibility and making apologies
  21. Work to mend broken relationships
  22. At the end of each day, create a gratitude list
  23. Read the New Testament
  24. Cook and eat more consciously, making healthier choices, to be truly nourished
  25. Take stock of your finances and create a plan that reflects your values
  26. Tour a museum to enjoy looking at art
  27. Watch movies that make you laugh and cry
  28. Write a list of the things for which you feel sorry, your sins, and then ask God to forgive you, burning the list afterwards
  29. Spend time in nature noticing God’s hand at work in creation
  30. Go to the doctor or dentist, to care of your body
  31. Practice Breath Prayer while driving and waiting in lines, inhaling and exhaling and saying a mantra like, “God in me. Me in God.”
  32. Pick out a person you are worried about and do something thoughtful for them
  33. Choose a justice issue that worries you and talk with a friend about it
  34. Go to Starbucks less often and send the money you saved to your favorite charity
  35. Write a little every day, perhaps in a journal, even if it is just lists of things that are on your mind
  36. Take a road trip with a friend
  37. Consider how your work can be more like a ministry, day in and day out
  38. Make a list of the hymns and readings that you want to have at your own funeral
  39. Do less or do more, to achieve better balance in your life
  40. Resolve to spend time with people who may help you to become the person God intends you to be


—The Rev. Mary Luck Stanley


  1. joedalio says:

    Love this! Even doing just a few of them can significantly enhance your spiritual walk 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • livingourfaithosp says:

      I agree. I’m hoping folks will cherry pick the suggestions that might work best for them, given what’s going on in their lives. Thanks for commenting!—Mary Luck Stanley


  2. smarquardt99 says:

    I needed to read this today. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • livingourfaithosp says:

      I hope you found ideas that might be workable for you, given all that you have on your plate right now. I remember a phase in my life when the kids were little and all I did was sit on the floor playing with legos and changing diapers. That was my spiritual discipline for several years. I remember reading a book called, “My Monastery is a Minivan” and it helped me to honor that God was with me in those little domestic moments. —Mary Stanley


  3. Keith Murray says:

    This is a great list, Mary. Thank you. I’ve started Anne Lamott’s “Small Victories” and am enjoying it immensely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] Forty Ways to Care for Your Soul this Lent. […]


  5. Barb Hedges-Geottl says:

    Always interesting when we express things in terms of “soul care.” I was glad to see that this list actually includes the body too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hannah Stanley says:

    Great writing mom! You go!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] I’m not such a hypocrite to say I’ve been a solid Catholic, but I try. My faith is still there, I still pray, I still talk to God as if he was a friend I was having a chat with over coffee.. he knows what’s in my heart. 40 ways to care for your soul this Lent  ❣ […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Martha Ward says:

    I am off to mend a relationship

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] gratitude per day in Lent. The inspiration for my 2016 Lenten Spiritual practice can be found here: and also from April Davis Campbell, who did so every day for a year. […]


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