Ash Wednesday is tomorrow! Did you know that? I'm always surprised by the number of people who look at my ashes and say, "Oh, is today Ash Wednesday? I need to go get my ashes!" Not to be uncharitable or judgmental (which means I'm totally going to be), but why do you want ashes if you don't go to Mass often enough to know that Ash Wednesday is coming? I really just don't understand. I'm not judging their hearts; I can't; I just don't get it. I'm actually happy they want to go, and maybe the priest giving the homily will be the messenger of the Holy Spirit.
I've been talking with my youngest two about what they're planning. I guess they're growing up, and all the things we've done in the past they're getting too big for. Sad. They just want to make their own sacrifices without my telling them what to do.
I have made a couple of strong suggestions, like:
- Immediate Obedience (because I forget what I told them to do and it doesn't get done!)
- Walking the Dog when he asks to go out, instead of waiting until he's whining and I'm mad.
- No fighting with each other.
- No TV until after dinner.
- Reading Saint books.
They are going to have a couple of sacrifices that they didn't choose, though:
We're going to go to Mass a lot more.
No sweets---I'm not buying or making any, even on Sundays.
Here are a few other ideas:
- Crown of Thorns (we will do this because it's a good centerpiece reminder and the kids still like pulling out the thorns)
- Jesus Tree /Lenten Readings
- Catholic Family Bootcamp
So, what am I doing, you ask?
- Daily Mass as much as possible.
- 33 Days to Morning Glory Marian consecration retreats every Saturday a.m. to prepare for consecration on April 8 (the date of the Annunciation this year). I've put together a small group of ladies to do this with, and I'm so excited!
- I'm giving up all grains and sugar. And yes, there is an ulterior motive here (or two): weight loss and health. For years, I've been reluctant to give up foods for Lent because it comes with those ulterior motives, so I thought those sacrifices weren't "worthy". Even if I did give something up, initially, I would cave in at some point during Lent because "it wasn't a good enough sacrifice!" But after reading Simcha Fischer's post the other day, I realized that it's really the devil who doesn't want me to make these sacrifices. He doesn't care about my health, and he certainly doesn't want me to make a difficult sacrifice and attach prayer to it! These sacrifices are extremely difficult for me because of the addiction to sugar and wheat, and because I hate, hate, hate being different from everyone else and having other people notice what I'm eating or not eating. So, there, I said it. I may not say it again, but you heard it. ;-)
- And, sometime in the next 12 hours, I'll choose a spiritual book to read. Most likely, Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week. (I think I just picked it. ;-)
So there you have it. My Plan for Lent. What's your's?