What is the point or what is the goal of Lent?
If you know the true purpose of lent, then it’ll be much easier to prepare for the season. If you don’t know why you are doing it, then you might choose a lot of things that might qualify our lent as good. The goal of lent is to join Jesus in imitation of his 40 days of fasting, and 40 years that the Israelites spent in the desert; and to really unite yourself to him in his suffering and on his road to the cross. There are three main pillars of lent-prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The main purpose of these three things is to bring us into closer intimacy with Jesus & our true identity as sons & daughters of God.
What are the best ways to prepare for and live Lent in our lives without being distracted by the pressures to do a lot?
During lent, it's really tempting to busy yourself even more with what do I need to be doing? What do I need to be sacrificing? What do I need to be praying for? How can I be serving? Those things are good. But we can use them to keep Jesus at an arm's length.
Being intimate with Jesus takes time & vulnerability. Pray about it before lent begins & ask Jesus what theme do you want my heart to go in during lent. For example, the hymn “Where You There?” could be your theme for this lent. Make it your goal to be there for Jesus the sufferings He went through.
Another thing you could do is to pick a saint for this lent. You could choose any saint that stands out to you but you could also choose a saint that was there with Jesus as He was suffering & dying. Those saints include: St. Veronica, St. John the Apostle, St. Longinus, St. Joseph of Arimathea, St. Simon of Cyrene, and St. Dismas.
In order to figure out what God wants you to do this lent, you must pray about it. Pray with Matthew 4:1-11 where Jesus is in the desert or John 19 where Jesus is being tortured. This might sound weird but put pressure on the Holy Spirit, not on yourself to figure it out.
Do you have one piece of advice that you want every young Catholic woman to know?
“When the Holy Spirit speaks to us & when He wants to work through us (which is more often than we realize), we need to have an understanding that it is often in the form of encouragement of other people and affirming other people’s gifts rather than giving advice or casting judgment on people. We are so good at comparing and nit-picking people but consider that the Holy Spirit is trying to affirm and help others recognize their gifts through you rather than just correcting people.” -Sara