Lent starts tomorrow. Didn't the Christmas season just get over, like, yesterday?
I have a love/hate relationship with Lent. I've written about my struggles with this season a few times. Lent should have its own label on my blog.
There are many reasons I dread Lent. It goes beyond the fact that I HATE fasting and I pretty much eat meat everyday and I LOOOOOOOOOVE it!
Fasting and abstinence from meat are true sacrifices for me. But instead of uniting my suffering with Christ, I just grumble and stare at beef all day long and yell "I'M HUUUUUUUUUUNGRY!!!"
I dislike the dreariness and darkness of Lent. I know that's the point of Lent... the darkness turns to the glory and light of Easter. But I'm already in a dark and dreary place spiritually, so Lent just draws out the blahs.
I think what I dread the most is that this is a time of preparation and a time to get re-focused on God, and I can never get to that point. I never obtain that spiritual growth. It's the same way with Advent. I have yet to pinpoint why. Maybe because I'm lazy.
However, I do love the hope that comes with Lent. You know the 40 days will be over soon and there will be warm weather, longer days filled with sunshine, beautiful Easter lilies, halleluiah Church music and pure white vestments. There is that hope that you'll be closer to God. You can't help but be a little happier when Easter rolls around. Lent makes me appreciate the beauty of spring and the Resurrection of our Lord.
This Lent should be somewhat fun, for a Catholic nerd like me. There will be a selection of a new pope in the next few weeks. I am saddended and shocked by Pope Benedict's decision to set aside the papal office, but obviously something serious must be going on with his health. You don't just stop being pope for non-serious reasons. I am sure he has been deep in prayer for a long time regarding the decision.
I love the Catholic Church, but these past few years I've been in somewhat of a funk, so I don't get all excited about Catholic stuff like I used to. I was indifferent when Papa Benny got on Twitter. I don't get excited when a certain bishop is named somewhere. But this historical event of our beloved pope stepping down has sparked an interest again.
Lent is coming whether I like it or not. I've been thinking the last few days about what I am going to sacrifice, and nothing really popped out at me. I've given up facebook before, and it really wasn't that hard for me.
Two of the most random Lenten acts popped in my head this morning. I'm going to give something up and add in a little something. Golly, how super holy am I?! ;-)
First of all, I am going to not light any scented candles until Easter. This sacrifice might sound so incredibly stupid, but I love me some scented candles. They put me in a good mood. There's nothing like baking cookies in the fall with a crisp apple candle burning. Or decorating the Christmas tree with a cinnamon candle filling your home. But my absolute favorites are springy/floral candles. They honestly lift my spirits and I light candles pretty much everyday. So this will be hard. As soon as Easter hits I'm going to 5b Candles and stocking up on lavender honey and lilac. If you live in the Kansas City area you should seriously hit them up. Their candles are AMAZING!
The second thing I'd like to do is do one religious-type activity a day with Joe. Maybe that's color a religious picture, or pray a decade of the rosary (tried it once... mass chaos ensued), or...well... that's all the ideas I have. PLEASE GIVE ME SOME IDEAS!
I try to get Joe to understand how special Jesus is and how going to Mass is important. It's tough since he's only 2 1/2, but this is something that is extremely important to me. However, there are many times I just drop the ball when it comes to spiritually nourishing my son. I'm hoping this Lenten activity will strengthen both Joe and myself in our spiritual life.
I'm also going to drastically limit myself on facebook and blogging. I
get stressed out when I open my reader and see I have 56 new blog posts
to read. Then common sense comes a-knockin' and I realize I don't HAVE
to read all those posts. I don't HAVE to catch up on every single group
post on facebook. Besides, I have schoolwork that takes up a lot of time.
Which, by the way, I had my first chemistry test last night. He posted
the grades.... I got a VERY good grade... very good indeed. When I saw
my grade online I did a little something like this:
And, yes, Ryan clapped exactly like that.
So anywho, I'm sitting here eating chips and enjoying my honeysuckle candle. I'm going to pig out tonight (even though I think I'm exempt from fasting since I am nursing, but I'm still gonna go all out!)
I'm ready for you, Lent.