Lent begins on Ash Wednesday this week. I was just thinking about how much I love Lent. It seems counter-intuitive to love a season focused on self-denial and self-sacrifice. But I suppose that is only half the story. Lent is a time to do penance, yes. But it is also a time of increased prayer and many Catholics boost their almsgiving as well.
I have thought about what I want to do in the department of self-denial and self-sacrifice. In the past, I have given up Facebook, but that has often been an "epic fail" and besides, I've deactivated my account for now as it is. This lent, I think I am going to give up eating restaurant food. No Fast Food for us when I'm just too tired to cook dinner. No loading everyone up to go to Cici's when I've whiffed on dinner. No lunch from the deli if I've forgotten my lunch (ooh...better be good about remembering my lunch!!!) Whenever I have the urge to pay for food from a restaurant, I will simply put that $5 (my portion) into my little envelope and I will add that amount to our weekly tithe (I have a feeling I'm going to get this urge a lot, unfortunately).
As for increased prayer, I have already started one thing I hope to continue during lent. It takes about 10 minutes to climb from my floor to floor 15 (it's about 11 flights of stairs) and back and I have started praying a Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I did this twice on Friday. I think I will try to do this three times a day and have three specific intentions for each Chaplet.
- An end to abortion (legalized or otherwise) in our country.
- Conversion of our public officials, especially those who like to claim the Catholic faith but not support it (and actually actively attack it) in the public sphere--Sebelius, Pelosi, Biden - lookin' at you.
- For our United States Bishops that they continue to stand strong and oppose the unjust and unconstitutional HHS Mandate and energize all of us as the elections draw closer that we can make a better choice for our government.
Almsgiving can be boosted with the money not spent at restaurants. In addition, one of our parish's "activities" includes a week where we all give double our weekly tithe. I think this happens the fourth or fifth Sunday of Lent, so I need to be preparing and saving now!
What are you doing for Lent??
I am joining Alluring World's Lent Linkup today!
Leave a comment here if you also decide to do a Lent post and linkup, too because I'd love to be sure and read yours!