Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Getting ready for Lent
I'm just not very good at preparing for Lent. We have our Lenten rituals and practices, and I have pulled out my books and prayers for the season, but I never feel "ready" for it. Lent is, for me, a matter of drawing inward and trying to look at things from a more supernatural standpoint; in other words, trying to do what I ought to be doing all year 'round. We will each take a look at this worksheet I use every year to help us focus on what we hope to draw from this time of introspection and penance.
We will likely color some Stations of the Cross. We have used these here for the past few years, but the kids are probably ready for something different, so after looking online, I found these (really great site for Catholic coloring pages!), and I may reduce them in size and use them to put up around the house for our own Stations, which we pray on the Fridays of Lent in lieu of our evening Rosary.
I put out a dish of dried beans and a jar, and the kids use this to keep track of kind deeds and sacrifices during Lent. The number of beans becomes a dollar figure for a charity, and the beans "magically transform" into jelly beans on Easter morning.
There are mortifications, too: no desserts except on Sundays, and for me, no wine until Easter (I will miss the glass of wine I have most nights as I prepare dinner), and my coffee black (that really cuts back my consumption of coffee). If I can find the strength, I will close comments on this blog until Easter. That one really hurts! Trying to practice quiet and custody of the tongue at home and of the eyes when I am out and about.
I have pulled out Anne Catherine Emmerich's The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ to read again this Lent. I have also purchased the insanely popular, One Thousand Gifts for reading. I am wondering now whether I will be as enraptured with it as everyone else seems to be.
I never do as well as I hope to during Lent; then again, perhaps it is better so. 'Twouldn't do to finish Lent and enter into Easter with a big head, would it?