Lent….the season of penitential prayer, sacrificial fast and alms giving. I must admit that I am looking forward to the spiritual reboot. In the days leading up to Lent, I have overheard my kids discussing what they were going to “give up.” These sacrifices have been everything from “all electronics” to “junk food” to “making my bed!” (That last one was the 6 year old. ) While I think that it is important to fast from something that will really challenge you, I think that is more important to ask yourself if it will bring you closer to God. Will not eating junk food improve your relationship with Our Lord? Will packing up the ipod or kindle for Lent make you a better version of yourself? Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way suggesting that you bail on the idea of making a fast from something. I know that I am spoiled rotten and I am a creature of comfort, so to “give up” some of these comforts can be very beneficial. At least it will be if I have the right frame of mind while doing it. Whining about the absence of doritos or social media isn’t drawing you any closer to God. If anything it will push your family and friends farther away because whining is…well, super annoying. But if you quietly offer up your sacrifice for a specific intention, you can give a redemptive quality to your suffering, no matter how small it may seem.
You might also consider adding something to enhance your relationship with Our Lord. That can be anything from praying a daily rosary or chaplet, to reading the daily readings, to just sitting quietly and listening to what it is that God is trying to tell you. That last one is a tricky one for me. With as much crazy and chaos as my daily life brings, you would think that I would revel in the quiet, but it is the exact opposite. I have such trouble quieting my brain and just slowing down. That is why developing a structured prayer life is at the top of my Lenten “to-do list.” I have no lofty goals of sitting in silence and meditating for an hour each day. I know myself and I would just end up planning out the next two weeks meals and grocery lists. Instead, I am going to start small with a daily rosary, the readings and 5 minutes of meditation. I am hoping to slowly bump it up so that I am eventually able to sit quietly and just listen to God for 15 or 20 minutes without hearing circus music playing in my head. Baby steps my friends.
What does your Lent look like?
***To all of my Sisters in Christ, if you are interested in praying a daily rosary and would like to be a part of my Lenten Rosary group, just send me a pm and I will add you to the group. I post a different intention each day for the group to offer up their rosary. Each year, I am amazed at the beautiful blessings that has come out of this group.