Yes, you read that headline right. Carry LENT into EASTER.
So here are the strategies I use to keep Fridays penitential.
1. Avoid meat and going out on Fridays.
This used to be SO EASY when I was dating. Friday nights are now date nights (typically). Going out, regardless of what I’m eating, just doesn’t seem penitential at all. I mean, someone brings the food to me!
2. Spend some extra time in prayer on Fridays, particularly at 3 p.m.
3. Go to daily Mass.
4. Can’t make it to Mass? Liturgy of the Hours!
5. Examination of conscience.
I see lists all over the place about what to give up, how to give up more, unique things to give up, funny things to give up… Those are great.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
862 “Just as the office which the Lord confided to Peter alone, as first of the apostles, destined to be transmitted to his successors, is a permanent one, so also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops.” Hence the Church teaches that “the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.”
Do you ever hear those people… those of other faiths say that the Apostolic age ended with the Apostles?
Well, 862 is just a smidge of Church teaching about it.
Also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised WITHOUT INTERRUPTION by the sacred order of bishops.
And so, the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit will find the next Bishop to lead our Church. We’ll continue that tradition without interruption. How beautifully put.
It’s come to that point, at work, that I realize some people think I take my faith lightly by the way I talk about it. I wish that wasn’t the case.
Often to make it accessible, I joke about it, lightly. I shouldn’t. My faith is serious, and strong, though not as strong as I’d like it to be.
My coworkers seem to think Lent is this… joke.
I have a CRS Rice Bowl at my desk. There’s some money in it. They’ve seen me put money into it. So, why the jokes? Why do they laugh when I ask the fellow Catholics what they’ve given up for Lent? Nothing, both of them, nothing.
I pray often that God uses me as an example for others, for my boyfriend, for my family, for my friends. I need to add coworkers to that list as well.
CRS rice bowls
I don’t know if they do these everywhere, but I see them everywhere I go to Mass during Lent.
You know, those paper/cardboard… piggy banks, I guess you could call them. I picked up two this morning: one to keep at work, one to keep at home.
Because I’m sticking with my abstention from complaining. So far, I have contributed 5¢. It’s a start.
I took this photo this weekend, the day after my birthday (I like to talk about my birthday).
The next day (Sunday), it rained like crazy and all the snowy woods are gone.
I’m so glad I stopped. It was one of those times where I didn’t really want to stop my car, didn’t really want to take the extra two minutes to get out of my car, adjust my lens, all of that. But look at what came out of it.
I find that I skip those little things a lot because I’m in a hurry, I don’t have time, it’s too far (not really, just out of the way). These little excuses make me miss taking photographs of beautiful things.
That road, that photo, so beautiful. Worth the 45 seconds. I swear.
This was that same day, out on the frozen lake. That is some man ice fishing. Or trying to.
Most liquids freeze from the bottom up because the colder material is denser. Not so with water and ice. The frozen water is less dense and is at the top. If this didn’t happen that way, fish would not survive.
God planned that. How amazing.
I was going to say something about the pope.
But I really have nothing to add.
I love Pope Benedict XVI, and I trust the College of Cardinals will choose another great leader for our faith.
I hope he’s in good health and that his faith isn’t wavering. God bless that man.
Lent so far
I know it’s only day 1, but I got up early and did a little personal prep time with the Lord.
I wrote down which Rosaries I’ll do on which days, which days I’ll go to a daily Mass, my Stations of the Cross schedule.
I am a compulsive scheduler like that, but now I know what I need to do and I’ll make time for it.
I went to Mass this morning. Beautiful.
The students were there, too.
Picked up the rice bowls and did a Rosary with the group. So far, so good. And it’ll stay that way, I hope.
How are your plans coming? What did you abstain from?
How’s the fast today?
God bless. Happy Lent.