This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th. There are three special things Catholics do for Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Of course we pray all year long, but during Lent we try to pray a little extra. Maybe your family can pray the rosary together or go to the parish Penance Service. On your own, spend a quiet moment each day telling Jesus how things are going or read about the life of Jesus from your bible each day.
“Fasting” means not eating. You can skip the snacks before dinner or fast from your favorite candy, or drink water instead of soda. (You can also “fast” from TV, or chatting online, etc.)
Catholics age 14 and over must fast from meat on Fridays of Lent. (Those 18 and over also fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by eating only one full meal, with two snacks that don’t add up to a full meal.)
Fasting is good because it helps us to be disciplined. To say no to ourselves when we want some chips can help us to say no when we are tempted to sin. It reminds us that there are many people who don’t have enough to eat. Fasting also helps us remember that God is more important than anything else in our life.
To “give alms” usually means to give money or other things to help people who are needy. You can also give of your time to help others. Donate some of your allowance or help with a food or clothing drive. Spend some of your time for others.