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Activity: Stand in Solidarity with the Poor

Many years ago, the Church called us to abstain from meat, not just during Lent, but every Friday of the year. The purpose was three-fold: to identify with the suffering of Jesus; to develop self-discipline in small things so we have the courage to say no when evil tempts us; and to stand in solidarity with the poor.

When that precept was changed, we were encouraged to choose something else to give up voluntarily once a week. It could be a food we really love, like chocolate or meat. It could be television or listening to music.


What can you, as a family, give up once a week to stand in solidarity with the poor?

Here are some possibilities:

  1. Dessert

  2. A favorite family snack

  3. Television

  4. Technology (email, Facebook, iPod, computer games, etc.)

  5. Going to the movies or a game

  6. Complaining

  7. Criticizing

  8. Fighting Discuss what you can commit to, then try it once a week for a month.


If it’s something that costs money, donate the money you would have spent on it to an organization which helps the poor. If it’s something that takes up time, take some of that time to pray for the poor or advocate for them (e.g., writing to your representatives in support of legislation which helps the poor).

At the end of the first month, evaluate what happened. Did it help you as a family grow in virtue? In solidarity? In strength? In appreciating Jesus’ self-sacrificing for you? Decide whether to stick with the same thing to give up or choose something else for the next month.

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