Need a Lenten Study? 3 Options

Ash Wednesday is the day after tomorrow — Lent seems to have snuck up fast this year! I’m sure you would not be alone if you are still deciding what to do for Lent. I have some suggestions that might help you. I’m not going to give you ideas of what to fast from or give up — listen to the Holy Spirit for that. But I do have some ideas for your reading/study material. I have three options that are all pretty different from each other…

Option #1 – Facebook Book Club

For those who enjoy online book clubs (and are not giving up social media for Lent), you may want to join the FB Abiding Together Podcast book study. I’m not a follower of this podcast, but I know a couple of people who listen to it and/or are participating in the study. The group is reading and discussing Henri Nouwen’s Life of the Beloved. I’m definitely going to add this book to my “Want To Read” category — it looks like a good one.

Option #2 – The Seven Penitential Psalms

Meditating on the psalms is a wonderful option for both Bible study and prayer. The psalms themselves make up a significant portion of liturgical prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours. There are Seven Penitential Psalms that are especially good to study and meditate on during penitential seasons/days of the Church: Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130 and 143. (The link above has some reflections too.) My recommendation would be to take one psalm for each of the six weeks of Lent to study and meditate on in prayer all week. Then tag on the seventh one during Holy Week or on Good Friday.

Option #3 – Read the Book of Exodus

You will see a lot of Exodus readings during Lent, because that’s an important book for this season of the Church. It’s kind of convenient — 40 days of Lent, 40 chapters in Exodus. Read a chapter a day. Start on Ash Wednesday and finish by Easter. (Hint: Sundays are not part of the 40 days of Lent. So you can use those to catch up if you get behind.) I’m actually doing this for Lent with a married couples group at our church. We are using this study with the text, commentary, and study questions by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch.

Whatever you decide on, remember the point — to detach from the desire to please ourselves and draw closer to the Lord; to be abandoned to Him. Ask Him what will accomplish that goal for you. God bless your Lenten journey!

How about you? Any addition studies out there you want to recommend?


Copyright 2018 Jessica Ptomey

Wonder & Whimsy: Now I know where “Ask Jeeves” comes from!

Now and then I like to share the helpful, enjoyable, and inspirational things that I have come across lately. Perhaps some of these might be just the thing you were looking for…

#1 — Quote from St. John of the Cross — Mind your own business!

From time to time I use my Small Steps for Catholic Moms devotional that someone told me about when we first came into the church. It is full of inspirational quotes, and I stumbled on a great piece of advice by St. John of the Cross earlier this week:

“Take care not to meddle in things which do not concern you, nor even allow them to pass through your mind; for perhaps you will not then be able to fulfill your own task.”

Ouch. Yes. Got it. Eyes on my own paper.

#2 — RB Digital app

Libraries are offering more and more digital options, which is so helpful. Our library system now uses RB Digital for some magazines and audiobooks. Previously, I was only aware of the Overdrive app for checking out digital content through the library. What’s nice is that RB Digital has some content that Overdrive does not. You use the RB Digital app (just like the Overdrive app) on your smart phone or tablet, and it links to your library account. Now I have another free option to check before going to Audible for my audiobooks.

#3 — Baking soda and white vinegar

No, I’m not eating it — it’s a very effective blood stain remover which my friend just told me about today. And we need one of those! My boys get a lot of bloody noses (sometimes because of dry winter weather and other times because of toddler fist fights), and my carpets and upholstery suffers. You sprinkle the baking soda on, pour a little white vinegar on top, let sit for a minute and fizz, and then dab up with a rag. It was kinda like magic. Previously I have used Oxi Max spray, but it’s great to have a non-toxic option!

#4 —  P. G. Wodehouse

I just started listening (through the Overdrive library app) to the audiobook of “My Man Jeeves” by P. G. Wodehouse. Delightful! It’s just the thing to fold laundry by — so light-hearted and funny. The narrator is absolutely spot on. This volume is the first in a series about Bertie Wooster and his butler/valet Jeeves, who has exactly the right answer for any predicament. Now I know why the website is call Ask Jeeves!

Do you have any favorite finds to pass on to me? Post them in the comments, please!


Copyright 2018 Jessica Ptomey

“Pray For Us!” Printables

Over the course of last year I posted “Pray For Us!” pictures on Instagram throughout the year on various saints’ feast or memorial days. They invoke the saint’s intercession and have an inspiring quote (usually by that saint) on them. Here are a couple of samples:


I have collected about a dozen or so of these in a PDF, and I am sharing it with you! Just subscribe to the form below to access the PDF. You may want to share the pictures on social media or print these for use in your domestic church. Hopefully you can use these throughout the year to help celebrate the liturgical year!


Copyright 2018 Jessica Ptomey