Wednesday, February 10, 2010
As we all know Lent is around the corner. I'm very excited because this year I want to do it right. The only Lent I can ever remember being somewhat meaningful was when I was in the 4th grade. I gave up ice cream. I knew Lent was a way in which we could try, pathetically, to understand Jesus' sacrifice and temptation in the desert. Now I was an ice cream fiend, but I was not prepared for what was to come.
School was never a place where we had "parties"(except birthdays...but rarely) and my 4th grade teacher was the most serious teacher I ever had...so you could only imagine my surprise when she planned an ice cream party out of the blue. I had kids literally in my face saying "don't you want some? mmm it's so good!" I cried. hahaha. And my mom kept forgetting my lenten sacrifice as well because she kept taking my brother and I out to Stewarts (and she never usually did) all throughout Lent. But I will always remember that year because I was thrown curveball after curveball...and if memory serves me right...I endured great suffering, IMMENSE temptation, and came out with a sense of pride. I did this for God and He saw my suffering.
Now that I am older...I don't know if I want to just give up food/material things. I could easily give up desserts (I only eat around 1 small dessert a day, sometimes if any), I could give up tv (but all I really watch are encouraging Christian shows like EWTN, the Duggars, 700 Club, Kirk Cameron...and here at school...I need an outlet for entertainment since I spend weekends alone.)
What about trying to work on myself? Like trying to focus on controlling my speech...to try to not complain or curse...(I really need to let that go! For some reason it just sprouted here at school) Or maybe try to do Bible devotions each day or a rosary each day...something that will carry over PAST Lent. Something I can say, I did this for God and will continue to do for Him. I feel like I won't get that extreme sense of pride/relief at the end of Lent though that I did with the ice cream year. But then again I want this season to bring my whole being closer to God, not just suffer and go without...or should I do both? Or is that too much? gah!
How do you celebrate/practice Lent?
Do you give up something that is difficult to replace/go without in your life, or do you give up something like harboring anger/bad thoughts, gossip, etc..? Do you count Sunday as a day of Lent (I read that Sundays are always supposed to be a day of celebration for Catholics and is thus not counted in the Lenten calendar?) What about the fasts? Total abstinence from food, or do you do the 1 meal thing? Post your ideas and practices here, I really would love to hear some pointers/other view points. I want to reap the most from this Lent...as much as I possibly can! Give me your secrets! haha :)