So how’s your Lent looking?
Have you thought about it?
Have you thought about what you are going to do this Lent–what you are going to give up or add in?
I heard someone on the radio say, I think it was Father John Riccardo, that when Lent ends you should look more like Jesus than when Lent began. So that’s what I’ve been keeping that in mind this year as I’ve been setting my goals for Lent for me–and for my family.
Now, there have been years, two that I remember distinctly, where my suffering for Lent was kind of built in. And I was told by my confessor to not worry about making too many other sacrifices. One year was the year I was pregnant with my fourth and she was due right about Easter. You don’t think that suffering–then you’ve never experienced the end of a pregnancy!
And the other time was last year–my year of intense suffering. I barely even remember Lent last year. Well, that’s survival mode for you.
Well I’m not 100% right now, my suffering hasn’t ended, but I’m ready to take on more. Mostly because I’ve realized my prayer life, although I’m still praying, has gotten a little stale. I think it’s been mostly whining!
I realized I have grown weak in resolve and purpose and . . . hearing God.
So this Lent, I’m ready to do more to get back to where I need to be. I’m ready to come out of this holier–closer to God.
All right–so for Lent, I thought about getting my family closer to Jesus, what we personally need to work on, and hitting all of the three areas of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Here’s what I came up with for my family’s goals:
- Do one nice thing for another member of the family everyday. We will be recording all these in a notebook and giving a star to the biggest favor of the day.
- Do the Week of Prayers published by the USCCB. Here’s the link: http://www.usccb.org/about/justice-peace-and-human-development/upload/Lenten-Prayers.pdf.
- At dinner time, read the Gospel of the day and discuss it.
- Continue our habit of praying one decket of the Rosary a night (and making sure this happens more often!) and saying a full Rosary once a week.
- Participate in the Living the Eucharist study put on by our parish.
- Give up chocolate. For every good deed, put an M&M into a bowl. On Sunday, we get to eat all the M&Ms!
- No dessert after dinner on Mondays and Wednesdays.
- Only drink water on Thursdays.
- Only watch/use entertainment that does not offend our Catholic faith. If it does, have the courage to turn it off.
- Earn money for Operation Rice Bowl.
Of course, we haven’t had our family meeting yet, so we’ll see if the list stays unedited or if things are added or subtracted as we talk it out.
Personally, I decided I needed to do a few things myself in addition to that:
- Read two books: Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will by Father Larry Richards and Introduction to the Devout Life, 400th Anniversary Edition by St. Francis de Sales.
- Limit myself to one dessert and one can of pop a day (pop is my weakness!).
- Read a daily Lenten reflection. I think I’m going with Father Robert Barron’s which I signed up to receive via email here: http://www.lentreflections.com/.
- Only check my email three times a day (obviously that means limiting my time on the computer/I-phone).
- Go to Adoration once a week!
My parish was nice enough to put together a little Lenten package for us as well with prayers, devotion booklets, daily Scripture reading (The Word Among Us) and encouragement to go to Adoration, etc.
There’s a sheet attached to the front with suggestions for Lent.
So that’s what my Lent will look like. Here’s to hoping–not that its not too hard for us–but that positive changes and growth come out of it.
Are you ready for Lent?