Tagged: abstain

5 ways to carry Lent into Easter

Yes, you read that headline right. Carry LENT into EASTER.

But why? It’s a celebration! A Feast! Our Savior is Resurrected!
All true…
BUT.
Check out the Code of Canon Law for a second.
(OK, more than a second.)
Canon 1250: All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.
Canon 1251: Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
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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!

     If I do end up going out on a Friday night (or for lunch), I try to get a simple, cheap meal. A salad. No soda or drink. Just water.
     It’s nice to enjoy the company, instead of the meal (not that salads are bad!).
     And of course, no meat. I really got into the no-meat Fridays last year, and I love it. It’s nice to know that I just don’t eat meat on Fridays, and I don’t have to think of something to abstain from instead.
     If I stay home, I like to make a simple meal, and eat it without distractions… meaning, no reading, no cell phone while I’m eating. Just a simple meal at my dining room table.

2. Spend some extra time in prayer on Fridays, particularly at 3 p.m.

     After Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Resurrection Sunday), I like to re-add a chaplet to my day around 3 p.m. I can’t do it every day, and I can’t even do it every Friday… but I try extra hard on Fridays to at least say the Divine Mercy prayer at 3 p.m. This helps me remember, every Friday, that Christ died for MY sins.
     If you don’t have time for the prayer, don’t have it memorized, just say “Jesus, I trust in you!” Go for three times. 🙂

3. Go to daily Mass.

   I already try to go as often as possible. I’m lucky that my work schedule and the Mass schedule at my local parish works out.
     Starting a Friday morning with a Mass just makes the whole day go better (and really this works for any day).

4. Can’t make it to Mass? Liturgy of the Hours!

     Yes, the Divine Office. Say it. Say the morning prayers, say the vespers. Say them all. Say what you can.
     They’re online, I think there are apps for smartphones. I don’t know. This is something I want to start doing this Easter season (and ordinary time!).
     I don’t go to  Mass on Thursday mornings… my parish only has Liturgy of the Word with Communion. So I usually sleep in (if I can), and spend some time enjoying a cup of coffee before I go to work.
     So I plan to start saying the Divine Office on Thursdays. Well, I want to try.

5. Examination of conscience.

     I do the examen from the Jesuits every night, but Fridays are a great day to review the past week and see what keeps popping up.
     Lust? Greed? Worry? Fear? Am I getting hit with the same sins? Have I done what I planned to do to avoid those sins? To work on them? Fridays are a great review day, and new plans can start on Saturday.
     For example, I’ve been feeling very fearful about my financial situation the past few weeks. I got hit with double electric bills after moving, and the money was just a little bit short.
     But of course, God provided… through my mom. She gave me some cash when I helped her with her taxes, and I was able to buy some groceries. Praise God.
     So while I know I still need to budget my money, I know that God isn’t going to leave me starving. It will work out, if I use my money wisely.
     I recently started tithing a full 10 percent, and the first paycheck, it really hit me, but I can already see the blessings coming back to me. God provides.
Those are just some of the ways I do… or plan to make sure every Friday is a penitential Friday.
God bless.

Rice bowls and the pope

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.

Snowy Road

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.

Frozen over

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.

Lenten plans

Like every other Catholic, I’ve been thinking about what  I would abstain from during Lent this year.

Chocolate, coffee, meat… all serious options for me this year. Well, not so much chocolate. I don’t eat it that much. But coffee and meat, those make up the bulk of my diet. (well, kind of)
I want to do something challenging, but I also don’t want to be crabby at  eating only vegetables for the entire time. I gave up meat in 2011. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but I wasn’t eating Paleo back then either. Beans and rice and grains were OK, so I was OK. Now I couldn’t go back to a grain-based diet, so cutting meat is not an option for me. At least not right now.
Giving up coffee would be a good challenge for me, except I just gave it up for January… so, I talked myself out of that. And, anyway, I didn’t even make espresso this morning because I didn’t have make time for it. I had a really early meeting and I just didn’t want to get up earlier to make coffee.
(So, I bought a sugar-full cup of cappuccino at a gas station. Bad decision, though it was tasty.)
Anyway, I haven’t really made an effort of alms giving in my past Lenten observation, so I wanted to do something with that this year. I know there have been words spoken about how CRS does it’s charitable work, but I’m going with them anyway, in solidarity with the church.
They give out those rice bowls at Ash Wednesday service, and I’m actually going to use my this year.
I decided to give up… complaining. That’s right, no more, “Oh, it’s so cold, this sucks,” or “I hate spinach.”
When I make a complaint, I’m going to put a nickel in. When my roll of nickels is gone, I’m going to start with dimes. Hopefully, by the end of Lent, I’ll still have some dimes left, and I’ll be doing something instead of just complaining.
For example, here’s what will happen:
Walking to my car… oh, no, I have to scrap the frost off because it was so cold last night.
Nickel in the rice bowl. And I pray for those who don’t have cars and gratitude that I do have a car.
Hopefully, it works out like that.
I’ll be letting my coworkers and my boyfriend know the situation, so if they catch me complaining I’ll be accountable.
I’ll be adding a Rosary (I did this a few Lents ago), in the mornings with my cup of coffee. I’ll make the coffee and pray. And if I have meetings, I’ll pray in the evenings. If I’m going to Mass, I’ll pray there.

Birthday review

I did make it to Mass for my birthday Friday. I went to a small chapel with some discalced Carmelite friar celebrating the Mass. There was also a whole family of secular Carmelites in front of me with scapulars and all. Beautiful.
Then my boyfriend took me out to dinner. Then we went ice skating for the first time ever!!!
That’s right, I, at 26 years old (and counting) had never been ice skating before. Of course, my boyfriend was pretty skilled at it. He’d done when he was still in school.
I was so nervous, and my boyfriend was a little scared to let me hang on him when I first went on the ice. I thought I would fall. I kept thinking I would fall, in fact.
But I never did. And soon enough it was like I do it all the time.
It really is just like rollerblading, which I used to do a lot. The blades weren’t that sharp (we rented some at the facility), but they worked.
Then we went to the apartment and played Phase 10 (love that game) and drank wine.
It was a wonderful, perfect, happy birthday.
I’m starting to realize that I really am in control about how I feel about things. I could have had a horrible birthday just by the way I thought about it.
Instead, I set myself up to have a great day, and it worked out. Regardless of what I did with my boyfriend, I would have had a great day. Just spending time with him would have  been great.
God bless.
Also, prayers for Pope Benedict XVI and the College of Cardinals as they go about finding a new pope for us. Pray for the Holy Father’s health.