Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
And so what is YOUR plan for Lent? The past Lent was very difficult for me, as will this be also, since it leads up to the first years mind for my dad. Last year, I took nothing on as additional "work" because just living through life was enough.
I feel stronger this year and in need of committing to doing something, so I've thought and thought about what needs rearrangement in my life. After spending some time in prayer it seems these three things are appropriate:
1. Add the noon Wednesday mass to my weekly schedule. More frequent reception of the sacrament will be to my great benefit.
2. Off the computer, except for email, which I must check because of my volunteer jobs, by 9 a.m. I flirted with a complete computer fast, but came to the conclusion that, at least for this year, I simply needed to put it in its proper place. So, I can do whatever I want--play my games, post to the Summas, read my news sites, etc. But at 9 a.m., away I must go to my other responsibilities. I think this is a useful discipline. And if I need to read a little more, then I can hop myself up out of bed earlier. Trust me, that's not likely to happen just for the computer.
3. No snacking between meals. I'm not giving up any particular food. I just need to put food in its appropriate place in my life.
Come to think of it, God is working hard with me about appropriate times for all my work and play. It's a consistent theme of my meditations lately--how to arrange my rather unstructured life to build up the routine and habits that can undergird a stronger spiritual life. This is something that bears some more thinking about, because it is only now that I am beginning to see that discipline and obedience (that hard, hard word) can truly bring freedom.
And I could use me some of that!
On the reading list for Lent?
The Way of the Cross by Caryl Houselander
A City Not Forsaken: Jerusalem Community Rule of Life
Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life by Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J.
The Friendship of Christ by Robert Hugh Benson
How 'bout you?
And remember--let's fast and discipline ourselves joyfully, not putting on sackcloth and ashes but washing our faces and putting on smiles. We do it for ourselves and for our God, not for the world.
Happy Wednesday, ya'll!