Lent is not only a time of reflection in which we try to grow closer to God by doing spiritual exercises. It is most importantly a time where we look at others—people who may suffer, who are poor, who need our help.
Catholic Relief Services has an annual project during Lent called ‘CRS Rice Bowl‘. You can go to the website and sign up to receive a free rice bowl. The idea is to use the rice bowl to raise money for the poor. Every evening, you put your change in the rice bowl. Instead of eating out during Lent, you put the money you would have spent in the rice bowl. At the end of Lent, you can donate the money you saved by giving up something for Lent to charity.
They even offer recipes on their website to try out, so you can get first-hand experience of what poor peoples’ meals are like. It may be a small amount of money by your standards, but even a small amount of money can make a huge difference in a developing nation.
You can go over to http://www.crsricebowl.org to sign up and to find more information. Highly recommend it!
Is your parish or your school participating in this project? Let us know what your experiences are! Would you recommend it to other people?