Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lent 2016, the gauntlet

Well, here we are at the doorstep of yet another Lent. I remember last year's Lent and that it was hard or something, and for general forgetfulness, I am truly thankful.

I am fully on board with the saying, " Lent is not a diet." In some ways, I think that just omitting certain foods is a cop out from putting real thought into the furthering of our spiritual life.Just being hungry is not enough, though it has its merits. I personally need something that will point me toward God in a more conscious way. Many days, okay, most days, I get all caught up in the events of that day and go merrily on without Him.

So I want to have a multi-point approach this year. A little of this and a little of that.

The Plan.

1. Ransom some time back by going off of Facebook. I may blog here and there, and throw the post up on Facebook, (and try really hard not to chase after the piled up notifications).  I do this every year, and find I am looking forward to it more and more.

2. Generalized good eating but no specific dietary restricting. Except Fridays, of course, and just keeping things modest.  We have several celebrations throughout Lent, and this year, the birth of our second grandchild, so there will be some appropriate times to indulge a little. I have heard that NOT participating in someone's joyful celebration, (when possible), would in itself be, if not sinful, at least sort of ungenerous.

3. Reading. I began Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly, and want to continue that. I also have lots of great spiritual books lying about. Unplugging to some extent and watching less TV will clear some space.

4. Going to daily mass, adoration, stations of the cross, and  more frequent confession. I am not going to say this day or that day, because my life just doesn't support that. I do want to say a daily Rosary.

5. Doing this.

6. Give alms wherever an opportunity arises. Sometimes this happens with giving someone time rather than money.

7. Little sacrifices. Doing something someone else wants rather than what I want. Praying while driving instead of listening to music. Doing something extra for someone that is not expected.
Offering up all difficulties of the day. Hurt feelings, bad drivers, crowded stores, disappointments, heartaches. You get the gist.

8. This may seem counter intuitive, but be joyful! Laugh. Find the humor in things. Smile at someone. Don't indulge in grumpiness or irritability. Hug someone. (be appropriate! haha). Give good vibes away.  Jesus said,  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." John 15:10-11.

That all may seem like a lot, but really, it's more of a mindset.  Setting the mind on Jesus. That's the goal, right?

Here's to a joyful and holy Lent!