I’m ready for Lent. I’ve been ready for weeks. The world seems so depressing lately, and life seems to be going so fast that I’m ready to focus on quiet and getting closer to God. I’ve already somewhat started. On Sunday we went to another parish in the neighborhood because the time was more convenient. I discovered that their daily Mass schedule would enable me to get to daily morning Mass. I may be somewhat late many days, but if I push my kids to be ready for school just 10 minutes earlier it could work.
So for the last two days I’ve been able to go, and even though I came in during the homily today, I felt a strong sense of peace. I did not go up for Communion today because I was so late, but just being there made my day more calm and peaceful. On some days I might even be able to stay for Adoration. I have felt the Lord calling me to these things, but did not think my schedule allowed it. Frankly, I just did not try hard enough.
So, for Lent I’m going to try to get to daily Mass a few times a week if not every weekday and go to Adoration once a week. These are things I should be doing anyway but lapsed out of the habit. I’m also going to continue reading The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila. I have been really surprised at how readable she is. I was given the impression that she was SO difficult and only those really deep in a prayer life would benefit from reading her works, but I’m enjoying it. Perhaps I’m just shallow and the true benefit is over my head but so far, so good.
I’m also going to start, and this time finish, the absolutely wonderful book by Pope Benedict XVI Jesus of Nazareth . Now that a second volume has come out I need to finish the first. The parts I read before were incredible and I want to study it in more depth. I have the study guide for it I just need to focus. To complement all this I really need to remember the Friday Stations of the Cross. In years past I have completely forgotten to go each Friday. This year I’d like my kids to go with me and experience it. I would love to take them to the nearby parish that has it outside by torch light. It is very memorable.
For a few years, once I had gotten past the extremely shallow “giving up chocolate” stage, I gave up things like the radio during Lent. Normally, I would listen to it while I was running errands in the car, or at home during the day. So I would listen to the few minutes of the news and then shut it off. I found giving that up to be very conducive to prayer and I liked it. Then the radio in my car gave up the ghost and it was permanent. Last year I started to listen to podcasts on my iPod while in the car, and at the moment I’m listening to Scott Hahn CD’s from my parish library. I think that while I still may listen to them, I will cut down somewhat so I can perhaps pray the Rosary, or just sit in the quiet with the Lord. My time in the car is very fruitful for me.
What about the computer you say? Are you not going to be giving up time on the computer? Facebook? Well, honestly I can say that since I have started working from home I’m not on it as much as before. That is why I have not posted very often. I work all day on the computer and going to it for fun is just…not as fun. So, no I’ll not really be reducing Facebook etc. because I have already. I would also like to share Lenten resources with you over these 40-some days and I would not be able to do that if I did not continue posting on Facebook and here on the blog.
Here are a few websites I’d like to share with you that you might find helpful for Lent:
Catholic Culture’s Personal Program for Lent
EWTN’s Lenten Reflections & Stations of the Cross
Pope Benedicts XVI’s Letter to You for Lent 2011
James Akin’s All About Lent
and last but not least
RC.net’s Readings & Meditations for Lent including excellent sermons by the Early Church Fathers & Readings for reflection and study.
I will have more coming soon. I wish you a prayerful and blessed Lent and that you grow deeper in love with the Lord, realizing His great sacrifice for us.