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Our readersFebruary 16, 2021
A resident prays during Ash Wednesday Mass Feb. 26, 2020, at the Jeanne Jugan Residence operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington for the elderly poor. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Contrary to what it may have felt like, the last 12 months have not in fact been one long Lent. The church begins its annual season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17. Two weeks before that, America asked readers on social media what they planned to give up or take on this year. Below is an edited selection of their responses.

I plan on listening to a daily Mass podcast, spending time on meditation and being open to where God leads me. Last year, I made a point of lowering food waste, which I have happily cut down to very little. Usually the vegetable peels and unusable parts go to the compost. Also, I have managed to not use too many plastic bags. Whatever I do for Lent, I try to make it a positive shift in my daily lifestyle.
Maria Eichhorn

I think we did our penance in this pandemic.
Lenny Telesca

How about this: I’m not giving up. In spite of everything, I’m not giving up.
Letitia Roddy

I’m going to take on advocacy for racial justice.
Linda Morin Manning

I want to take on a better prayer life. I try every Lent. Hopefully I will do better this year with Father James Martin’s new book, Learning to Pray.
Ann Marie Cangelosi

I am going to pray extra hard for those who have wronged me.
Barbara Terebetsky

[Lent 2021: Reflections, podcasts and more]

I don’t think I have the bandwidth this year. I’m just going to try to be a patient mom and get everyone through this.
Jane Masterman

Praying the rosary every day so I can get in the habit.
Dianne Fiore

Red meat, coffee and pop.
Mauro Pineda

Same thing I do every year, try to follow Jesus “...more nearly day by day”
Kim Mallet

Taking up book reading. Turning off the videos at 9 p.m. to read.
Pam Strobel

Working on being patient, and adding more music and art in my life.
Laurie Toubus

Less social media, more time in prayer
Len Kierzek

No chocolate and more rosaries.
James Bull

Participating in daily Mass livestream, working through a Memento Mori devotional and stopping stress eating
Kris Beckles

Lent? Haven’t we been living in Lent since last year? I’m going to try to pray more, hopefully with the help of Father Martin’s new book. As for giving something up? I don’t have much left—can’t see my sons and daughter in laws, can’t see my grandchildren (including my brand new granddaughter), can’t go to church (too many wearing their masks below their noses). All I have left to live for is chocolate, and I think God will forgive me for hanging on to that for dear life!
Monica Soule

[Read this next: What America’s editors are giving up (or taking on) this year]

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