Keeping the Love of Jesus… in Lent!


I am co-hosting the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, together with Erika at Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints and Tina at Truly Rich Mom .We’ll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.

Keeping the LOVE of Jesus…in LENT!

What is your most unique or satisfying Lent ChallengeLeave a comment below!
We’d love to hear from you!

Take away something…but add something too!

Lent can be a beautiful time for challenging our attachments, building our prayer life and drawing closer to the Lord. Sometimes we have such big expectations at the beginning of Lent only to quickly become discouraged when we stray a little from our Lenten plans.

I think it’s healthy to give up something…(chocolate, snack food, TV…) but I realize that giving too many vices all at once makes me pretty grumpy, making it quite challenging to carry out my regular Mom duties cheerfully.

My family has opted to give up a few things, but also to add prayer. I’m hoping that the combination of sacrifice and added prayer will help us to carry out our Lenten plan cheerfully, keeping the LOVE for Jesus in our Lent.

Pray more.

We have always been pretty haphazard when it comes to the family Rosary.  We say one decade a day, sporadically at best. My husband’s family grew up saying a full 5 decades everyday with the beautiful prayers of the Rosary Novenas to Our Lady, describing each Mystery.  I found these familiar prayers at Prayer Flowers and this week, I hope to include them more deliberately in our one decade before dinner each day.  You see, one decade before dinner is just what we can handle right now, especially with Adam and I think it’s a great addition to our family prayer life.

In anticipation of this new commitment to the Rosary, I resorted to what I like to do: building a craft to help us through!  I posted about our Revolving Rosary and I’m even offering a FREE printable so that you can make your own!  Whether you’re saying 1 decade or 20 decades…or any number in between, this little craft will help you keep track of each set of 10 Hail Mary’s…and also where you have left off, in the spectrum of all 20 Mysteries of the Rosary.

I also took the opportunity to launch the new All Season Prayer Bank, just before Lent. It offers over 100 prayers and templates to build your family’s repertoire of prayers, along with a special DIY envelope prayer bank (with clipart) to hold them all in.  A set of Day of the Week Lenten Prayers is offered as a FREE printable as part of the release of this new Cathletics Craft Kit. 
See the light at the end of the tunnel.
A tool to show where we are in Lent can be helpful and encouraging. 
See the Advent and Lent Quest for a Year of Faith paper chain. Watch as the stack of paper links dwindles and the paper chain grows… in anticipation of Easter.  Enjoy the newly constructed paper chain decoration for all of Easter and reflect on the challenges tackled in Lent.
Mix it up. 
And finally, as part of the Catholic Toddler Letters of Frankie and Adam, I am co-hosting a special All for Jesus Lent Challenge with Frankie’s Mom over at Catholic All Year.
Sometimes a Lenten Plan becomes more accessible if we choose a different sacrifice or challenge to tackle each week (or even each day!)  We created a special link-up and you don’t have to have a Catholic Blog to join.  Just add your best Lent Challenge each week throughout Lent.  Our toddlers Frankie and Adam will choose the entries that impress them the most and the winners will receive their choice of Cathletics Craft Kit PDF to enjoy throughout the Easter Season!

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What is your most unique or satisfying Lent Challenge?
Leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you!

Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We’ll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.

Discover new Catholic Blogs to follow!

Equipping CatholicFamilies: Keep LOVE in LENT
Lenten Love: Little Acts of Love

Loving the Semi Country Life: Lent:special time to reflect and keep the love in lent
The Irish Lassie Shop: Seek God Everywhere
Words On Heaven: IN THE DESERT FOR 40 DAYS
On The Way Home: Keeping LOVE in Lent

Mountain Grace: Keep Love in Lent
This Cross I Embrace: Keep LOVE In Lent
Sole Searching Mamma: 15 Ways to Experience a More Meaningful Lent
Catholic All Year: My Biggest Lent Fails and How I Learned Mortification…

Four Little Ones: Keeping Love in Lent
Gaels Crafty Treasures Keeping Love in Lent
Bear Wrongs Patiently: Lent for the Scrupulous
Rosary Mom: Keeping Love in Lent
LoveLetters 7.10: Teacups {Keeping the Love in Lent}
Little Saints in the Making: Keep Love in Lent
Blessed with Full Hands: Keeping love in Lent- Praise Him
Normal Chaos: Our Own Personalized Lenten Journey
These Little Blessings: Gifting Love this Lent
The Cajun Catholic: The our Father; a lenten reflection 
Truly Rich Mom: Keeping Love in Lent… Even When It Is Difficult 

SaIsa Pang Sulyap – Fullness Of His Love
LiturgicalTime: Keeping Love in Lent – Finding Balance
Grace Loves Iggy: love in lent
Sacred Oysters: Empty (Keeping LOVE in LENT)
Tercets:Make Heart Rosary Decades to Pray for Others
The Diary of a Sower: Our Lenten Prayer Tree
A Living Garden — Giving for Others with Love: Keeping LOVE in LENT
Homegrown Catholics: Motivated by my childrens’ activities {Lent}
MyBroken Fiat: Keeping Love in Lent… Barely
Journey to Wisdom: Keeping Love in Lent: Bands of Love

Softening My Heart: An Anniversary Lesson duringLent   

Coffee Moments With Sam: Alot about Love…





  1. We are trying to do a family rosary each night…with as much as the family that is able/willing to be present! It’s challenging, but something I needed to do to get back into a good routine of saying it regularly!

  2. You always come up with such creative and unique ways to share the faith for little ones! Your rosary wheel looks fun and educational all at the same time :)I’m sure your All Seasons Prayer Bank is a big hit with your readers!

  3. Great ideas, but the crown jewel is confession our root sins and being set free! No other Lenten activity gives us so much joy!

  4. There are so many wonderful ideas here…but your ‘Decade before Dinner’ really resonated with me. We, too, have been sporatic recently and I believe praying the rosary together as a family will have amazing long term benefits. Thank you for all you do! Praying you have a very holy and blessed Lent!

  5. When we first started praying the Rosary as a family- we started with one decade right after dinner. It was the best time because we were all at the table together and that made it easy to make it a regular part of our routine. Adding prayer for Lent is such a positive way to observe the season.

  6. Thank you very much for co-hosting this blog link-up! Blog hopping to read other posts has inspired me and enriched my Lent experience. I was reminded of many good ideas that we can do in our family and discovered new ones that we can maybe do in the future. God bless you!

  7. Wow, it is so wonderful that you are so crafty and can come up with ideas like that to help with the rosary. It is to people like you that people like me turn when we need some help and inspiration, so thanks for being here! Sometimes getting through the day is my greatest and most satisfying challenge 🙂

  8. I love the revolving rosary! What a great way to involve little kids too!

  9. Sometimes you hear the most simple of suggestions, but you’ve never thought of them before, yet they are wonderful.

    A decade before dinner?

    I can imagine this being an awesome form of grace before meals 🙂

    We are working on the Rosary with our 19 month old right now, so this might be really beneficial!

  10. I love that Rosary wheel. Definitely borrowing that one!

    Happy Lent!

  11. I think the Lent Link Up is a great idea… It’s very refreshing to be in contact with other Catholics trying to live Lent well, even if through cyberspace! I completely agree with your point about the attitude behind what we do. My family always did something similar – we do give up something practical, but we also choose an attitude or vice to give up and focus heavily on fostering the opposite virtue… It helps us remember that Lent is really about an interior conversion and change of heart…

  12. Dear Monica,

    Thank you for hosting the link-up. I like your idea of adding something, in addition to giving things up. How wonderful that Lent is something you do with the whole family. What a solid foundation in faith you are gifting to your children!

  13. Okay, your rotating rosary is brilliant!!! What a great idea!

    Doing a decade before dinner is a good idea, too. My mom, a kindergarten teacher, used to do a decade per week with her class so they had something to strive for, and this idea reminded me of that. Tackling a decade per day during the week is a completely doable activity I can strive for with my son.

    Thank you! So glad to have come across this blog! <3

  14. So many of us are thinking alike this year, to add regular rosary prayers to our family routine. I appreciate the tactile nature of the revolving rosary and look forward to trying it out. We are thinking alike there too as I have also created rosary praying aids this year. Like your family, we usually pray one decade at a time, so having a reminder about where we left off is a great help.

  15. Hi Monica!

    Thanks for hosting this blog link up. I love the idea of the revolving rosary. It’s nice to know that there are a lot of Catholic Bloggers all over the world! 🙂

    Love lots,

  16. Hi Monica!

    Thank you for hosting this Blog-link up. I love the idea of the Revolving Rosary 🙂 It’s nice to see that there are a lot of Catholic Bloggers all over the world!

    Love lots,

  17. Thank you. Thank you! I love this project. First of all, it was exactly what we needed to kickstart and keep up with our Lenten sacrifices this year! My family and I really thank you.

    Also, I just launched my Catholic blog, so I’m very thankful to find so many Catholic blogs out there. I tried looking on my own, but it was so hard to tell who were exactly Catholics or “just” Christians. You know? I love my Christian friends too, but I really wanted to find true Catholic friends too! Thank you for bringing me into this community. I look forward to making new friends. 🙂

  18. Thank you for co-hosting this fun link-up, Monica! You are your family continue to be such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing all of your great ideas:) God bless your Loving Lent!

  19. Monica, I love your rosary wheel and I don’t know if my comment got posted on your former post but I had a good chuckle when you said your husband starts out with the fourth mystery. It is a blessing to have a man devoted to the rosary. And this link up is so awesome. Never mind new subscribers, just finding new blogs full of the Catholic faith is wonderful.

  20. My biggest challenge for Lent is simply entering into prayer more purposefully. It’s so easy to get busy and forget to pray. Thinking about God is good but actually communicating with Him is even better. I must keep making the time:)

  21. Very wonderful article! Your tips are really helpful. Praying, especially if together with the family will really strengthen your bond not only with your spouse and kids but with God as well–that’s one of the reasons why we should pray more often. Btw, the Revolving Rosary is really good. That would really be useful. 🙂

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  23. Monica,

    I think you the same way about giving things up. I always try to give up one big thing each lent, (one year I did Diet Coke, and another I became a vegetarian just for lent) This year we gave up fried food and red meat. But I always try to add something as well. This year we are trying to make as many way of the crosses as possible. Over the past couple years they have been very hard to get to with work schedules and just life in general. I’m also trying to get the full day of prayers from the Magnificat in my day as well, and so far, its going pretty good. Love the blog…


  24. Thank you for all the hard work that you’re putting into engaging Catholics from different places in discovering and rediscovering their faith through the online network. I have to admit that the KEEP LOVE IN LENT idea is great! It gave me the chance to dig deep inside of myself and live the true meaning of lent by going back to the origins and roots of this season, and connecting with the historical events that took place from the beginning, all the way till our present day. Participating in this carnival rekindled the fire of God’s love in my heart.

    I like your other ideas as well, like the CATHLETICS CRAFT KIT, the ALL FOR JESUS LENT CHALLENGE, and the ALL SEASON PRAYER BANK.

    I’m glad to be a part of this blessed network. It surely is a pleasure knowing you and all the other participants as well.

    Keep up the good work, and may God bless you, your family, and your mission.

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  26. We are attempting to pray more at our house too. I’m trying to teach the kids to offer up their problems throughout the day. I really like the idea of the paper chain. We do one for Advent but I hadn’t thought of doing one for Lent. New idea for next year 🙂

  27. Thanks for co-hosting. I love the ideas you shared. We have added extra prayers to our days too. I think finding a balance between sacrifice and prayer is essential to making Lent an wonderful journey. I love the rosary wheel. Thanks so much for sharing.

  28. MOnica,
    I love your tips here! Very very nice. Thank you for sharing your creativity; it’s quite inspiring. Yikes, the prayer bank is really something, Monica! Lovely.
    But as to your reflection, I completely agree with your thought that giving up “too much” in an all out effort to sacrifice for Lent is a bit much, making us irritable—completely agree…a balance is so necessary.
    Thanks again for co- hosting the Lenten carnival with Tina and Erika. Great idea and quite ambitious of all of you ladies. It was a creative challenge to participate! I thank you for the “push” in that direction!
    Have a lovely day.
    I followed you and I look forward to your posts by email.
    ~Chris C

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