I cannot believe that Ash Wednesday is tomorrow!! It seems that we just celebrated Christmas, doesn’t it? I wanted to share a couple of things that my family will be doing this Lenten Season and I hope it may inspire you to think about how you will spend this holy season of our Catholic faith.
* Prayer: Spend more time in prayer. If you are not praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet every day, consider it. Get up 30 minutes earlier and spend time with the Lord.
* Attend Stations of The Cross if your parish offers this beautiful gift. St. Andrew Parish offers this every Friday during Lent. Come join us!
* Adoration: Consider spending an hour with our Lord- there is no better way to spend an hour of your time. Period.
*Spiritual Reading: Pick up your Bible and read- start in the Gospels and read every day- even if its 10 minutes. Pick up the Catechism of the Catholic Church and read- especially the part of prayer. If you read 2 pages a day you should be able to read it all during the Lenten period. Read a nightly Bible story with your children and discuss if afterwards. Have your own Lenten study with your kids- make it fun- have prizes for them when they answer questions correctly or pay especially good attention! My kids love this and bring some of their friends along!
*Confession: Go to confession and be healed. Receive the love and mercy of God. He’s waiting to fill you with Grace. It doesn’t have to be a mortal sin for you to go- be free of ALL SIN- even the venial sins we all have!
*Alms: Give your time to helping others- especially the less fortunate. Spring clean your closets and donate much needed items to those in need. Teach your children this at an early age.
- Be a good example. Do your kids copy you? I’ll admit, I’m not always thrilled about everything my kids model from me. Some of my faults echo through our halls in their little voices. They see and copy everything! Do your kids see you giving to others? Are you conscious of others through your words and actions? Do you make an effort to help and bless those in need or even just bring a smile to someone’s day? Your children see every little act.
- Provide simple opportunities to learn. If you want children who are compassionate and thoughtful, provide opportunities to learn that giving to others helps and blesses the recipient. Be deliberate. Look for opportunities in your own neighborhood or community to help someone home-bound or simply take your neighbors morning paper to them.
Are my kids perfect? Umm, no! Spend an hour (or less!) with us and you’ll find that out. But are they growing in a heart for others? You bet! I trust that our Lord and Blessed Mother will continue to be there guiding them.
As I have been deliberate about being an example, providing opportunities and practicing giving with them, I have watched my children’s hearts change in the way they think and respond to others. We are on a journey of learning how to give. I hope one day that they will continue this journey with their own families.
The last thing I would like to propose is to watch the movie, The Passion of The Christ. My family will do this. Is is gory at times? Yes. But that’s what really happened. We cannot shy away from this fact. We must embrace it and know that it was sin that caused it. We can try to live a life free of sin and when we do fall, run to confession. We must look forward to
Easter! He will always be there for us. Can’t we do the same for him? May God continue to bless you during this very holy time!