Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Live Lent: A Challenge In Itself

Join The Bright Maidens for our "Live Lent!": Beyond Giving Up Chocolate forum.

Today, at Ash Wednesday mass, I cried. A lot. My husband asked me what was wrong and I shooed away his concerns. Some times, when you feel repentant and the force of God's mercy and grace in your life, you just need to express those feelings. So I did, and took five tissues down with me.

I've been carrying a lot of weight on my shoulders lately. I'm tired. For all the blessings I am thankful for, I often finding myself begging God for a little reprieve.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 RSV).

And frankly, during the "Jesus, Remember Me in Your Kingdom" sing-a-long after Holy Communion, I almost lost it. Fortunately, B. was there to hold my hand and keep singing. I am continually reminded how truly blessed I am to be married to him.

I have a feeling this Lent is not going to be an easy one for me. For one thing, work is going to be more intense for the next three weeks, and that is surely not a coincidence.

Therefore, this Lent, I am doing three things:
Lent 2013: It's All About Attitude

Praying the Rosary every night with my husband, in addition to night prayers.

Offering up my bitterness toward people who inadvertently upset me, and praying for them instead. (E.g. the woman who came to mass with the flu; the woman who drove into the crosswalk so as to cut off 2 seconds before the next stop light 15 feet later while the 2 y.o. and I were out walking; etc. ... as my husband says, it sounds like I am still working on this one. I am. All 40 days.)

I am not biting off more than I can chew this Lenten season. The power of "NO" or "NOT NOW" - I must find it! I do this all the time, which is often the reason I am tired. Just one more... article... or... well... what am I writing about again? It's also the reason one table at our apartment is completely covered in organized piles of "stuff" which I shall truly organize once I publish this post.

The priest at mass today reminded us that penance is necessary, even though people are essentially good, because we could all be better. Even though I am not making it a Lenten promise, I'll be returning more frequently to the sacrament of Reconciliation this Lent, and I hope you'll join me in a renewal of our soul, mind and commitment to following Christ.

I'd also love to pray for you! Anything. Nothing is too silly to pray about it. Let me know.

If you're on Twitter, join #ashtag to share you and your ashes! You can also e-mail the USCCB, who is collecting pictures of people with their ashes. My ashes are hard to see today.

All glory to God in the highest!

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