Ash Wednesday

 

 

 

Last year I wrote about Ash Wednesday and I thought I’d share that post again.

 

Ash Wednesday Symbol

 

“What are you giving up for Lent?” Ah yes, it’s that time of year again and that is the question I am sure to hear frequently. Many Catholics are still stuck in their childhood understanding of giving up something for lent (chocolates, soda, or some other food item) for no other reason than ‘hey, it’s Lent and it’s what we do.’ I thought this same way for most of my life and it has only been during the last few years that I have taken the time to begin to educate myself on what Lent truly is.

The name Lent is taken from the Old English word for spring, lencten. The word Lent (much like the word Easter) is only used in English speaking countries; most other languages use a word that is derived from the Latin term Quadragesima (the forty days”). In Spanish it’s  cuaresma, Portuguese- quaresma, French- carême, Italian- quaresima, so on and so forth.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Jesus’ temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him. This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning.” By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.  –CCC540

lent_icon-728505

During this time we are all called to fast, give alms, and to pray more. By fasting we give up something. That might be the television, internet, some type of food, a vice, or something else that we enjoy doing. By giving alms we are giving something to others. That might be money, possessions, or time to a charity, or some other way in which we can give of ourselves above and beyond what we do the rest of the year. By praying we are “lifting our hearts to the Lord,” and I know that we could all spend a bit more time in prayer than we do on a regular basis.

Earlier today I found an entry at the USCCB’s blog written by Msgr. Richard Hilgartner that I highly recommend you take a moment to read for yourself. It can be found here.

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Lent

This hasn’t been a very good lent for me. There I said it. No, I haven’t had a bunch of terrible things happen to me; I just don’t feel as if this has been a very good lent. In a way I feel as if I’m in a spiritual desert. Granted, that is how this time of year is supposed to feel as we wait in anticipation for Easter. But I feel as if I’ve been an absolute failure this year.

I’ve not been able to “give up” anything for lent; I’ve had a bazillion ideas and non of them have been things I could stick to. I haven’t been able to deep clean my house due to my knees going out on me a ton lately. On Wednesday, I’ll be heading out to get an MRI done of both of my knees in the hopes that we can figure out what is going on.

On a plus note, my prayer life has been getting better. That’s been an easy thing to accomplish between the events currently going on at the Vatican, my knees not working properly, my children and family, and whatnot. Perhaps that’s what I’m supposed to be doing this lent.

Bleh, this entry is a bunch of rambling unpolished sentences.  Oh well, it’s the very best that I can do today.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

This Lenten Season

household cleaner with rubber gloves bucket and sponge..

During this Lenten season I am doing the one thing I detest doing more than anything else. I will be working my way through my house and giving it a deep cleaning, boxing up everything that we don’t use and/or need, and I will be doing it all with joy.  At least I will be attempting to do it with joy and thanksgiving.

It might take me the entire 40-ish days to get my house where it ought to be, but once I am finished I will be glad that I have my house looking clean and happy to know that I was able to give boxes upon boxes of clothing, kitchen paraphernalia, and what not to those who need them more than we do.  We don’t need most of the stuff in my house and I will be glad to live a much simpler life with out so much clutter.

I am also reading a devotional entitled, “Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families.”  It’s not overly deep – unlike the things I’ve read in the past few years during Lent, but I love how it has something to talk about with your children everyday and suggestions for things that they can give up and do for others every single day. And if I can get my children involved in a devotional and more prayer it’s a great thing.

Peace and blessings to all of you!

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Symbol

“What are you giving up for Lent?” Ah yes, it’s that time of year again and that is the question I am sure to hear frequently. Many Catholics are still stuck in their childhood understanding of giving up something for lent (chocolates, soda, or some other food item) for no other reason than ‘hey, it’s Lent and it’s what we do.’ I thought this same way for most of my life and it has only been during the last few years that I have taken the time to begin to educate myself on what Lent truly is.

The name Lent is taken from the Old English word for spring, lencten. The word Lent (much like the word Easter) is only used in English speaking countries; most other languages use a word that is derived from the Latin term Quadragesima (the forty days”). In Spanish it’s  cuaresma, Portuguese- quaresma, French- carême, Italian- quaresima, so on and so forth.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Jesus’ temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him. This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning.” By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.  –CCC540

lent_icon-728505

During this time we are all called to fast, give alms, and to pray more. By fasting we give up something. That might be the television, internet, some type of food, a vice, or something else that we enjoy doing. By giving alms we are giving something to others. That might be money, possessions, or time to a charity, or some other way in which we can give of ourselves above and beyond what we do the rest of the year. By praying we are “lifting our hearts to the Lord,” and I know that we could all spend a bit more time in prayer than we do on a regular basis.

Earlier today I found an entry at the USCCB’s blog written by Msgr. Richard Hilgartner that I highly recommend you take a moment to read for yourself. It can be found here.