Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Post A Day #2 -- one week until Lent, how do you get ready?

If you are anything like me, you have approximately sixty seven things you want to do or not do, not eat, read, pray, attend, or avoid. The house suddenly looks too dirty and cluttered to be a haven for we Lenten Pilgrims to trudge through make a peaceful journey towards Easter.

Incidentally, most of the books I wanted to read from last year are still in a pile near my bed.

My husband bought all the Tastykakes and cookies, ice cream, whipped cream, we could possibly hold.  I added some mint Oreos, Mom added biscotti and Torrone. And I plan to hit up Federal Donuts, and bake some red velvet cupcakes. All this before next Wednesday. As you may note, we get nervous about saying goodbye to our sweets. And I am voraciously reading all the novels I can find.

We do have a March birthday that almost coincides with St. Patrick's Day, and there is St. Joseph's Day. And Sundays. On those special days we can eat some desserts, or have a bigger meal, so it isn't as dire as it might be, looking through the lens of Ash Wednesday.

Typically our usual thing for Lent is:

1. No sweets
2. No between meal snacks
3. Of course meatless Fridays, and we try to go meatless at least one other night for dinner
4. Frugal meals, with the idea that we donate what we save, but I'm not sure if that actually happens.
5.We do put money in the Rice Bowl. We have sometimes needed to fish some back out.
6. Bob and I try to get to some daily masses. He goes on his lunch hour and I try to go in the mornings.

I like to unplug to some degree, I go off of Facebook and don't watch much TV. (oddly, every year during Lent the Food Network runs good shows which I will watch on Sunday nights).  I wouldn't insist other people stop watching TV, so sometimes I end up watching things others have on. But I can read with the TV on and it doesn't bother me. As I mentioned, I have a lot of material I like to or want to read during Lent.
Here are some:
Introduction to the Devout Life, DeSales
33 days to Morning Glory (A Marian Consecration) Fr. Michael E. Gaitley
He Leadeth Me, Fr. Walter Ciszek
Imitation of Christ and assorted other daily readings

My goal this year is to make gains in the area of personal discipline, especially spiritually, but also physically and practically, such as in scheduling, shopping, planning. I am praying for grace to overcome some of the emotional and mental clutter that holds me back in life. I love that grace seems especially available during Lent.

I really, really want to pray the Rosary every single day, and make that stick for always.

I want to make a difference in the course of my journey with Christ, and gain a more heavenly perspective on my time here.

 I know I go into Lent with a barrage of  ideas, and have accepted that I might not carry it all out perfectly. In fact I know I won't. But it's okay as long as I make some kind of progress.

I am interested to know what other people like to do (or try to do)? What are your lenten goals?


  1. I guess I'm doing the same old refrains for Lent: No alcohol, no snacks, one less meal on Friday, daily stations of the cross prayer, extra adoration. As you know, I'll be reading Imitations of Christ for Lent. Oh I just remembered. Confession this weekend in prep for Ash Wednesday. Yikes.

    1. Sounds good, Manny :) I _like_ to try and go to confession frequently, even weekly if possible, during Lent. I don't always achieve that. But you would be surprised how that can rain down grace on your life.

  2. Since we lead a pretty simple life anyway (no snacks or sweets except on weekends, IF we remember!) and don't have a TV, we tend to make positive commitments during Lent. In the past I have memorized the Universal Prayer and the Nicene Creed in spanish (which is the language we say it in during mass), and learned about the Church calendar (my spiritual director had me do that last year). This year I want to say the rosary EVERY day, not every other day, and we plan to use the Lenten Guide from the Magnificat to be more attentive to the season.

    1. Sounds great to me! I also try to do positive things, the "giving up"part is _supposed_ to make room for the positive. :We also like the Magnificat guides at Lent and Advent.

  3. What translation do you have of the Imitation of Christ? I found the more modern one by William Griffin which made it alive. It's probably a bit shocking if you want a more serious translation, because the language can be playful and even shocking, but the way it was translated makes it so practical. It really cut me to the heart.

    1. Caroline, I didn't even know and had to go look! It is from 1982, by the Confraternity of the Precious Blood. It just says "revised translation." It definitely is in old style language, but I actually kind of like it. Kind of lofty I guess, and yes, still quite shocking at times!. But, the best translation is the one you will read! So I am glad you like yours.
      I do think it needs to be absorbed rather than followed to the letter. Some of us already are too hard on ourselves...