Lent survival tip No. 12: Get uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable.

Catholics do tend to get uncomfortable during Lent: meatless Fridays, more time on the knees and going without coffee, beer, chocolate and the like. This, in turn, makes life more uncomfortable at times for everyone else. (Just aiding people on the path to holiness of course!) But how uncomfortable do you get with service?

Naturally, people gravitate toward volunteer activities they enjoy or are particularly skilled at. And people do a lot of good, grace-filled work in this way. But, here’s a thought: This week, try taking your volunteerism “to the fringes,” not necessarily in terms of location, but in terms of you. Try something that makes you uncomfortable. Maybe that means serving the homeless on the street. Maybe visiting a hospital or nursing home. Maybe spending time caring for kids, even if they sometimes drive you crazy.

Let God stretch you, move you and work through you. As Pope Francis told youth at World Youth Day (applies to everyone of course): “Go, do not be afraid, and serve.”

Need ideas? Check out this book review about “Mercy in the City,” a witty, honest book about Lent and the corporal works of mercy.

Each week during Lent I am sharing a quick tip on each of the three disciplines of the season: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. So tune in throughout the coming weeks for more ideas! We've hit the halfway point with Laetare Sunday, so keep it up!

Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.