Friday, April 15, 2011
7 quick takes; Last- Friday- of- Lent style
I consider myself blessed to have gotten a good start with it. I was not raised Catholic, so I never had any childhood experiences, or any erroneous information regarding it. My approach to the Sacrament as a convert has been to see it as a place of refuge and hope. I definitely have grown in my practice and understanding, and doubtless have a ways to go yet, but to me it is one of the Church's most beautiful gifts.
2. Examination of conscience. Do you do it? When? Ten minutes before confession? I used to, or maybe twenty minutes.One of my Lenten goals was to do this nightly, and write it down, so that when I went to confession, I would not have to rely on my faulty memory, or forget how often I committed certain sins. It made my confessions much more productive, and I wasn't adding another sin by not having proper respect in approaching the sacrament.
3. I recently learned about this method of examination of conscience. It is a Trinitarian examination, given by a Franciscan friar to a friend-
1. Thank God the Father for anything in the day.
2. Tell Jesus about the sins you committed. The previous last of blessings, you may find, will put this in a right perspective, making you able to notice the great proportion of blessings to sins.
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in the next day in the areas of your sins, to rely on Him and to do better.
I like it. Simple, positive and it can be as in depth or brief as the moment allows.
4.Even though I just had confession a few days ago, I hope to go before Easter. It just seems fitting. Also, if you want to partake in the plenary indulgences of Divine Mercy Sunday, (this year being very special with the Beatfication of John Paul II taking place), you need to have confession within an eight day period, either before or after. I may be able to get to confession while in Michigan visiting Meghann and Co. (so excited!) in fact, I hope to, but a good Holy Saturday confession is still in order.
5. Why all the talk of confession? We need it. The Church in Her wisdom and love for us sheep, offers it. It supplies us with the graces we need to grow spiritually. It puts us close to the heart of Jesus. Why would we not?
6. Here comes Holy Week! Love it. I like to clean house, wash windows and curtains, bake ricotta pie and Easter Bread.
Thursday night we go to the service in which there is a foot washing at our parish. Don't love that. Then my husband, Mother in Law and I visit three churches. It's an Italian thing, I think the traditional number can also be seven. Three is enough for us. It's nice that the churches are open and offer adoration, some all night. Sometimes groups will take turns sitting vigil. We usually are home before midnight.
Friday we go to Veneration of the Cross. Our church has a relic of the True Cross.
7. Easter prep:
I get out the Easter decorations, dust off the kids Easter baskets ,and go to Nuts for You to find neat and unusual things to put in them. I traditionally include at least one non food thing. The girls get new bath poufs, Ben, something like a ball or yoyo. Bob likes the big filled eggs, I like the little black licorice layered candies. I detest cellophane Easter grass and use either the shredded paper kind or colorful tissue paper.
Have a very special last Friday of Lent! Get to confession if you can, you will be blessed.