Dial 1-1-1 for Lent

Source: parade.com

I was recently looking for various articles to help us prepare for Lent.  I came across an article entitled A Simple Plan for Lent: KISS and the 1-1-1 Plan by Father James Shafer.   He observed that many times we either take on too much or too little for Lent, and we often lose focus part way through.  The acronym KISS in the title stands for his motto, Keep It Simple Sinner, and to do this he proposes  the 1-1- 1 plan. The following suggestions are based on this article or inspired by it.

The 1-1-1 refers to 1 sin/fault, 1 add-on and 1 give up.

One sin – concentrate on one fault/habit that is getting in the way of your relationship with God, others or yourself. If we take a good look at ourselves,  we probably know that there is at least one area to focus on.  Could it be one of the following?

  • pride or self-love.
  • always putting yourself and your needs first.
  • procrastination or wanting everything done “yesterday”.
  • how you care for your body – eg not enough sleep or exercise, too much junk food.
  • how you care for creation – eg wasting water, paper,plastics.

One add-on – add one action  to your daily routine that you have not been doing.  Pick one and schedule it for a definite time every day.

  • find 3 – 10 minutes to pray or read the Gospel of the Day in your missalette or on-line.
  • if you have not said the rosary for a long time, try one decade a day.
  • search out and use a prayer app such as loyolapress.com/3minute retreat
  • phone/ visit a shut in, a nursing home resident or someone you have not seen in a long time.
  • donate time, service or money to The Gathering Place or local food banks.
  • bring a a non-perishable food item to Mass every Sunday.

One give-up – this has been a part of our Church tradition almost from the beginning.  We often give up something like chocolates or alcohol for Lent, only to return to it when Lent is over.  Why not try  giving up something that you really enjoy, that is challenging but doable, and you may want to continue after Lent?

  • fast from finding fault or nagging, from a critical tongue or a closed mind.
  • fast from rash judgments, anger or impatience.
  • fast from impulse purchases, in the store or on-line and donate the money saved.
  • fast from an unhealthy habit, like smoking or binge eating and donate the money saved.
  • limit the time you use social media.


 Remember KISS, Keep It Simple Sinner.  Choose 1-1-1. .


A Simple Plan for Lent: KISS and the 1-1-1 Plan 

by Father James Shafer, http://www.simplycaatholic.com 

Maria Kelsey is the Pastoral Assistant at St. Pius X parish in St. Johnês. She is responsible for the faith development programs for children, and families, as well as for the Elder Ministry Committee.

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 01:43h, 14 March Reply

    Thank you Maria!

  • Peggy Spencer
    Posted at 02:50h, 14 March Reply

    A great and provoking article to put into action and not only just during Lent. I particularly liked the suggestion of concentrating on one sin/ fault to work on which may be interfering with our relationship with God. I have to ‘confess’ to at least two!

  • Peter Monty
    Posted at 10:33h, 14 March Reply

    Helpful Lenten reflection. Thanks, Maria!

  • Maria Skarzynski
    Posted at 10:49h, 14 March Reply

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