04 March 2014

Lent 2014

It's that time of year again. The trees remain bare of leaves but cloaked with snow, slush is piling up along the gutters and the wind whips against you so quickly that you nearly fall into aforementioned pile of slush. Just when the temperature breaks 30 degrees, it plummets back down below 0. I'm kind of getting sick of you, Winter.
Everything the light touches, Simba.
That's your never-ending Winter kingdom.
Spring seems to be evading us for as long as possible. Where are the clear sunny skies of yesteryear? Where are the flowering bushes which once lined the yard? Where's the grass? A peak of anything green or bright, besides the blinding snow, would be a happy relief.

Why indeed.

"We know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now," Paul writes in his letter to the Romans. "And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience."

Though Winter seems never to end, Spring will come. Just the same, as Lent begins we remember the waiting we endure now until we reach the other side of eternity. More importantly, we remember that the reward at the end far surpasses the trials of the journey. Though, let's be honest: I declared Lent my favorite part of the year only the other day. Either I'm doing Catholicism right or I'm completely insane. Maybe both? Win-win. Wait...

If you are still making your Lenten preparations, here are a few good links full of thoughts: 66 Things to Give Up or Take Up for Lent (with various levels of difficulty), 100 Things to Do for LentLiturgical Living at a Glance: March and poor Grace who, bless her heart, is giving up tea for Lent. Brave woman.

Here are my plans:
Unfortunately, no, this is not actually one of them.

Prayer: The Rosary was the first devotion I took up. When I began it, I would say it every day for weeks. Somehow that habit disintegrated. I've been saying the Rosary the last few Sundays, but I want it to be part of my daily life. My goal is to say a decade each weekday and a whole Rosary each Sunday.

I also will be adding the Liturgy of the Hours to my daily routine, with the goal of one hour each day (either Lauds or Vespers, haven't decided), but perhaps I'll up it as the weeks continue?

ReadingThis document compiles writings by ten Church Fathers with readings for each day of Lent. I am actually quite excited about this plan because I intend to do more religious reading but have not been sure where to start.

Food: The usual obligatory fasting (Ash Wednesday, Good Friday) and abstinence from meat (Ash Wednesday and every Friday) will take place. While last Lent I abstained from meat entirely, this year I'm giving myself a bit of a break on that by limiting meat to thrice per week including Sundays (my family eat quite a bit of meat). I also want to cut out sugars except for the teaspoon of honey I add to my tea. I am so bad about snacking and sweets (I'm still so hungry afterward!), so sayonara, nos vemos, adios until Easter!

Hello, tasty.

Slowing Down: One of my resolutions for the year is to slow down. I struggle with patience and living in the present (instead of reminiscing or daydreaming). I'll be spending more time with family and less in my room, more time reading and less mindlessly jumping from internet page to internet page, more time getting outdoors and enjoying the weather (whenever it decides to arrive!) and less holing up inside like the grouchy homebody I too often become.

With my Shrove Tuesday pancake eaten (recipe here), I think I'm ready to start Lent. Let's do this!


  1. No more sweets? Bless your heart. I don't think I'd have the stamina.

    1. Why do you think I doused my pancakes in syrup tonight? Yes, that's right. I had pancakes for all my meals today. I think that's this day accomplished, then. ;)
      I actually think I've made this commitment without really realizing how much it's going to invade my life. But that's a good thing, right?