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Lent 2024

A very solemn Ash Wednesday to you all. I’m happy to say my Catholic Valentines have been bringing in quite the traffic spike. It’s not too late to download a few to give to those whose eternal souls you’re enamored with….saving from the fires of Gehenna.

And once again, it’s time for me to naval gaze, contemplate, and publicly proclaim what I’m sacrificing for Lent. Last year, one of my New Year’s resolutions, and something I really worked on during Lent was improving my spiritual life. I think what I realized was that I’m very immature and underdeveloped spiritually. I read things by the saints, listen to talks by holy priests, and realize I’m just scratching the surface here…and not even that well. Although things didn’t go 100 percent according to plan last year in the Lenten or resolution way, I think I gained a new appreciation for how important it is to make practicing your faith a daily habit, through regular prayer and sacrifice.

I decided I will do quarterly posts this year to check in with my New Year’s resolutions, so I won’t detail things here too much, but suffice it to say, I have managed to figure out a way to say prayers on a regular schedule. And when I want to beat myself up and say, “It’s not impressive! You should be doing all these other things!” I just remind myself that I’m building habits, one small addition at a time. So, since my meager attempts at daily prayer have not already gone totally off the rails, I’m adding two small additions in the Lenten “prayer” category: regular Adoration on Fridays (I can walk to a Perpetual Adoration chapel) for at least 15 mins, and get to daily Mass at least twice a week. I was going pretty frequently during the last school year, but now, many mornings I’m making excuses why I can’t. Hopefully this Lent, I can get back in the habit.

As for fasting, I’m just following the “traditional” fasting rules (though I can’t remember what years these particular rules were binding): two small snacks and one regular meal a day, with meat only at the regular meal. I’ve also given up Coke Zero and alcohol (with one small alcohol exception for a special trip), but not coffee. I’m also going to fast from social media; Facebook and Instagram specifically. I was thinking I would deactivate my personal accounts once and for all but, I’ve got a couple emails tied up with several ministry accounts and frankly, I haven’t taken the time to figure out how to deactivate the personal accounts without also screwing up the business accounts. Plus, I’m working on a children’s book so if that is ever published, I should probably have social media accounts to share it on.

Lastly, the boys have asked me to once again give up cursing. I just want to clarify that I’m not cursing at them directly, or yelling curses at them when I’m angry. I tend to curse when say, I’m adjusting them and I jam my finger in the wheelchair the wrong way, or I run my own toe over. I used to want to cut down on swearing because the boys didn’t like it, but in reading about exorcisms a bunch over the last year, I realized that demons swear a lot. Most saints, on the other hand, probably didn’t swear at all (or at least tried to avoid it I’m sure). If I truly wanted to work on deepening my faith, I had to admit that cursing, even in a joking way with other adults, is not going to help me, in fact it puts me in pretty bad company spiritually. Cue sad WOMP WOMP. Honestly, I like the “cursing mom/ woman” vibe and hate to shed it, but I think it’s time.

Just please Lord, don’t ask me to give up ALL my sarcasm.

As a family we’ll give up sweets and shopping on Sunday. We did pretty good with the shopping fast last year, and tried to keep it up after Easter, but Lent 2024 will be a good time to reestablish the habit. I also sent a gentle reminder text to my college aged kids to PLEASE THINK OF THEIR ETERNAL SOULS and make some plans for Lent. Of course I’ve harassed the three kids still at home as well. It was a lot easier when we could all just do some little Lent activities and prayers during our homeschool day and I could check that “spiritual formation” box off for them.

What are your plans for Lent?

5 Comments

  1. I’m giving up fountain drink in the morning to take to work; I can’t give up diet coke completely or I’d become non-functional. However, the fountain drink is an indulgence , and I can just drink water at work. (There are times I really wish I liked coffee- but I dont- so diet coke is my caffeine source.)
    I am also going to say nice things about frustrations in the car rather than grumble. ” oh, I bet that person needs to get to work” in stead of ” what a jerk”. If I do this for Lent, I get the habit ,and it lasts for a while.
    I might try an extra Mass once a week, but every time I plan that, something comes up, so I think I need to sneak it in casually.

    1. I like the idea of “sneaking it in casually”. Like Satan won’t throw us a curve ball at the last minute if we quick duck into Mass when he least expects it. 🙂

  2. For prayer time, I’m adding listening to the Vespers on Sing the Hours…I love it…and a daily quiet time. I’m also reading through Mary Healy’s Gospel of St. Mark. For fasting, I’m doing a relaxed Whole40 (I’m not dealing with making my own mayo and such) and only going on facebook once a day with a timer just to keep up with homeschooling events, etc. And for almsgiving, I’m going to visit or call, and certainly pray for, extended family and friends I don’t keep up with very well. I pray we all have a fruitful Lent!

    1. I love the idea of reaching out to friends and family as part of almsgiving. That’s something even kids can take on (through sending cards, pictures, emails, etc.).

  3. I’m so completely braindead and fatigued (still, after having COVID in October) that I’m just trying not to eat meat on the days that I’m not supposed to.

    I think I’d last… 30 seconds at giving up swearing during Lent.

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