Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lenten Accountability and Fumblings of Faith

I was enjoying reading Melanie's Lenten Update this past week. "Enjoying" just doesn't seem the proper word during Lent...meditating is a better one...but I was reading it because I'm often curious what other Catholic moms are doing during Lent and I do wonder...not that I compare my works to anyone else's or anything but...how they are faring and I admit I'm a little curious if my enough is at all symbolic of their enough.

What I've found is no matter how many times I've evaluated my Lenten offerings over and over in my mind, I loose track or interest in them rather quickly and never finish my evaluation. Seeing Melanie's reminded me once again how accountable this blog makes me: to my mothering, my parenting, my household, my Catholic religion, and my faith life.

Like Melanie, I usually fall short of my ambitious plans but I try to give myself permission to look at the things I do rather than the things that lapse.

And so, to date...

* * * * *

Weekly Mass---I was able to make Mass on Ash Wednesday. So did all my children. I began the season of Lent marked with the sign of a penitent. This week I simply need to make time to get to that lunchtime church hour as I alway find excuses for morning and evenings church times.

Stations of the Cross---quickly becoming one of my favorite devotionals. Missed the first Friday of Lent Stations because of Confirmation Retreat. Witnessed two silhouette stations performed by our 5th grade CCD students, missed this past Friday's stations at church due to out-of-town field trip. Annie got to walk the stations in the church prayer garden this past week with her CCD class. I hope to take the girls sometime this week to walk them again.

Give-Up Fancy Coffees---I did not give up my morning regular but I did give in those quick drive-thru chocolatey frappes and those syrupy, whipped raspberry mochas from my favorite bookstore. I admit that yesteerday I indulged in one during the field trip to the Natural Science Museum in Houston. It was either that or a headache. I think God would agree that caramel is good for the home educating mother on a field trip. :-)

No Meat on Wednesdays and Fridays---On Wednesdays? Don't ask because I couldn't tell you.

On Fridays, I'm the bomb. I don't think I've forgotten that rule of Lent yet. There was that slight lapse of memory over the biscuits and sausage gravy but my husband was there to remind me. Sadly there was no plain white gravy void meat. :( I've been hungry for it ever since though. Ah, penance!

Fasting on Fridays---Doing pretty well. Cup of coffee in morning. Usually a grilled cheese for lunch followed by an egg sandwich for supper. Avoiding cookies, cakes, and in-between meal snacks for the most part.

No Eating Out---This is a yearly given and in the past, when the children were younger and less involved, our success rate was high. Last year and this year have not been very successful, to the point of me wondering why I still bother to proclaim it a fast.
Weekly Rosary---I seem to have trouble praying the rosary. I've tried and haven't become faithful. It isn't that I haven't tried or read-up on the rosary. I've read Louis de Monfort's Secret of the Rosary and Karen Edmisten's The Rosary: Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary and understand the beautiful thoughts and teachings of this spiritual bouquet. What draws me to it the most is that it is, in reality, an outline of the Gospel. While I have been able to remember to pray the rosary each week this Lent, still, I prefer to read books about it more than pray it.

Weekly Adoration---Done!...so far. :)

Weekly Come, Lord Jesus Bible Study---Fail! :(

Pilgrimage---this is something new I'd like to start this year. I did go with our Confirmation students to a weekend retreat. It was very insightful and even relaxing. Lots of prayer, skits, praise and worship, singing, and spiritual talks. It was a service to thirteen young people, a chance to give of myself to others outside my immediate family unit.

I would also like to make a pilgrimage to the Cursillo Center in Prairie Ronde and then stop at the graveside of Charlene Richard. My daughter has read her story and wishes to visit the site and church. I have only been once and it's past time to return.

Spiritual Reading---Never fails me. This is where God speaks to me: loudly, clearly, meditatively, visually. This Lent I am reading:

Paula Huston's Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit---Paula's pen flows reverently and spiritually over my Lenten calendar. Each day of Lent she guides me in personal meditation, work, and prayer. Nothing is overwhelming but each day lifts the bar on my personal behavior, outward service, and Lenten prayers. I love her style, her voice, and her prayerful insights and I love this little book. It fits perfectly in the side pocket of my purse this Lent.

Matthew Kelly's book Rediscover Lent---who can say that Matthew Kelly is not a fresh, young voice of ground roots Catholicism? He's reader-friendly, easy to understand, and leaves you craving more about this beautiful faith. His observances in this Lenten book center around the seven pillars of the Catholic Church which happen to be the very same things my focus is on this Lent. This book's focus is on prayer, how to find it, how to do it, and how to receive it. With Matthew Kelly, one can never go wrong because he never speaks for himself but for Christ.

And last but not least...

Phone Fast---This is something new but something I hope rounds out the rest of my devotions and fumblings of faith. Every day during the hour of 3-4 (when it is said that Christ died for my sins) I will put my phone away and out-of-reach. Chances are most of us have our phones on our being through most of the day. Most of us will justify it being there more for our children to reach us than for ourselves to have access to it. It's just an hour, but it's a start.

How is your Lent going?

Holy and faithful forwards, I pray.

God's Blessings!

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