Dear Lord, we are now in the holy season of Lent. We begin to realize anew that these are the days of salvation, these are the acceptable days. We know that we are all sinners. We know that in many things we have all offended Your infinite majesty. We know that destroys Your in us as a drought withers the leaves and chokes the from the land, leaving an arid, dusty desert. Help us now, Lord, in our feeble attempts to make up for past sin. Bless our efforts with the rich of Your grace. Make us realize ever more our need of and of mortification. Help us to see, in our difficulties and duties, in the trials and temptations of every day, the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities. Every day we are so often reminded in field and wood, in sky and stream, of Your own boundless generosity to us. Help us to realize that You are never outdone in generosity, and that the least thing we do for You be rewarded, full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and flowing over. Then we shall see, in our own souls, how the can blossom, and the dry and wasted land can bring forth the rich, useful fruit that was expected of it from the beginning. Amen.
Like Advent, Lent is a time of penance, sacrifice, and preparation before we celebrate the Easter season. Note that I said season, not day -- there will be plenty of time to do all the fun and bright Easter crafts and activities during the 50 Days of Easter.
For me personally, I choose a few items to focus on that cover the praying / fasting / alms requirement of Lent. It varies year to year. Sometimes it is doing more, sometimes less, but the underlying theme is simplicity and focus on God, and on the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us.
I do appreciate Lent, but it is a difficult season for me. I find it much more difficult to practice Lenten practices than I do Advent ones. Each year, however, it is more doable.
Even if you find yourself floundering in Lent, Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week gives you one last hurrah of intensified prayer, reflection, and Masses and activities to partake in. Never give up. We fall. We're human. Let's copy Jesus' action in his Passion and stand back up and start again.
Since my kids are young (for now) we give up something as a family and I do daily prayers and readings as well as tying some of our school work into Lent. Our home is a time of decluttering, cleaning, and simple decor.
Spring usually finds me outside so I am horrible blogger come spring time, but here are some things we do for Lent:
- Pancake Tuesday 2012
- Mardi Gras 2012
- Handprint Mardi Gras mask (as seen in my 2012 post)
- The Jesus Tree
- Preparing for Lent 2013
- On the Brink of Lent (Lenten decor, countdown,
- Musings after Ash Wednesday (prayer pots, simple soup recipe)
- Lenten Meal Plan: Week 1
Of course you can always follow my Lenten Pinterest board.