I’ve been doing some thinking these last few hours as the Mardi Gras celebrations are winding down – and in light of tomorrow being Ash Wednesday, the start of lent. I have to say that for the first time (maybe ever), I am excited about the start of lent. I really want to get as much out of it as I can this year. I’m not sure why, but there seems to be an air of urgency for me – maybe it’s the state of the world, or maybe it’s because I’m not getting any younger!
I want to empty myself as much as possible so that the Lord has more room to fill me. I want to seek out areas of my life where I have failed to surrender to God completely, and see if, with His grace, I can let go more fully. I want to become closer to Jesus. I want to stop running from the pain and ugliness of the cross and see it for what it is – my salvation. I’ve only watched the Passion of the Christ once, and I’m ashamed to say that I fast forwarded through the scourging scene, like a coward, because it was very difficult to watch. I think I will watch it again this lent – from start to finish.
I’ve just finished reading “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly at Dynamic Catholic. It was a great, easy, encouraging read.
I highly recommend it as quality lent reading material. Just one of the little tips I took away from the book is how to pray unceasingly as scripture tells us to do.
It’s easy to do if we offer our work/prayers/studying, etc. for a particular person or intention an hour at a time. Ex. This morning from 8-9, I will offer my walking the dog in the rain, doing the laundry and the dishes as a prayer for _______________. At 9 a.m., I begin to study for an exam and offer that (dreaded) activity for conversion of souls or for my family members in purgatory. I like it! It’s concrete! I can do that!
I’ve also decided to participate (unofficially) in Nineveh 90. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. It was organized by a priest, (with men in mind -I think) but I like the idea, so I adapted it for myself and have made my own “spiritual boot camp” daily chart. It includes a checklist for things like morning prayer, mass readings of the day, spiritual reading, rosary, fasting days, etc. I’m a list person! I love to highlight tasks as I accomplish them, so I think this will be good for me!
Anyway, I’ve gone in search of some Lenten resources to (hopefully) really make use of these next 40 days. I’m going to put links to what I’ve found that I really like that might be useful to you:
Dynamic Catholic’s “Best Lent Ever” short video daily reflections
USCCB’s Lenten Lectio Divina
Art & Faith: Lent – short video reflections on beautiful artwork as related to the Lenten journey – unique!
Women of the Passion online mini retreat “following the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus as it was experienced by women.”
I hope that you find these ideas & links helpful. I pray that you (and me both) have the most meaningful, significant lent ever!