Thursday, February 16, 2012

Preparing Our Hearts for Lent

Each year I eagerly anticipate the coming of Lent.

For me, it is a time of reflection, repentance and rejuvenation. As the years pass by it seems to me that each year Lent comes at the most perfect time for me. I have been mulling around in my mind different things that need to be changed in our lives and Lent is the perfect opportunity to do this. It is a spiritual call to arms. The past few weeks my mind has been filled with many things that I *know* need my!

It is almost a feeling of necessity or even anguish of sorts as these changes are quite simple, yet difficult for me to begin for some reason or another. The only way I can fully describe it is having a wound and needing to take off the bandaid that has been on there keeping it safe for some time.

It is now the time to remove the bandaid!

I have actually taken a few small steps to begin our Lenten journey.
Each year I refrain from being online more than necessary so I stay away from things like Facebook and message boards, that even though are a lovely way to keep up with friends, can be really eat away at a day! We also turn off the cable for Lent. Well, almost that is. We scale back to the basic 20 channels and it is very refreshing. Right now we have 200+ channels and DVR and it is too much! Nobody really needs all of that, do they?

Less is better. I love simplifying things and this is a biggie for us. We were able to stay away from too much online/tv stimulus until end of summer last year. I hope we go further this year. We really did not miss it in hindsight and it was amazing how much more time in the day there was.

I also began reading Consoling the Heart of Jesus a few days ago and am hoping to finish this retreat by Easter. I am really looking forward to it and am trying to make more time for reading these days. Most of my reading time comes at the wee hours of the morning (5:00-6:00 a.m.) and I love it. Just me, my thoughts and a good book!

As I spent a few moments today with this book I am as always in awe as God leads me right where I need to be! This book explains that it is based on "a 30 day Ignatian retreat in which an intense period of prayer is done and one experiences the First Principle and Foundation as it unfolds and is expressed in the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." The author states that the principle of "first things first" means that once we place our priority on the "first thing", Jesus, then all else will fall in place. In other words, we are made to live for the "first thing" (a life of praise, reverence and service to God) by utilizing the "second thing" (everything else on earth) only insofar at they help us to live the first thing. It shows us that if a second thing becomes an obstacle to living out the first thing, then we should rid ourselves of it. That is where I am these days, trying my best to live for Jesus while ridding myself of all of the other unnecessary "stuff" that tends to produce unwanted clutter that multiplies on a daily basis!

We are going to be reading A Family Journey with Jesus Through Lent as part of our daily circle time for school and will have much to report throughout the season.

I like to make sure that my boys understand Lent for all that it is worth. It is not just about eating fish on Fridays, getting ashes next Wednesday and eating chocolate eggs when it is over. I want my boys to know and love Jesus and want to serve Him and do His will because they want to out of the goodness of their hearts. I want them to know it is not just about sacrificing. They know it is about praying, sacrificing and sharing with others.

I am looking forward to the many blessings that spiritual cleansing of Lent can provide.


  1. I'm also reading Consoling the Heart of Jesus, and hope to finish by Easter, too. your plans sound great. I've have to check out the Family Journey with Jesus book.

  2. Beautiful Lenten reflection...I'm right with you on the simple and less stimulus. Isn't that book just awesome? I read that last year for a Lenten Retreat and it was such a gift. My husband and I were talking about reading it again as we tend to "fall of the wagon" with some of the practices. You will surely be blessed!