Wednesday, February 18, 2015

GIVE UP, GIVE UP, GIVE UP

So it's that time of year again.  The Lenten season is upon us. Which means it's time to figure out what to give up for 40 days.  Lifeteen has a great list of 102 things to give up for Lent. Now some of them are silly as it's geared towards teens and we all know how crazy any of us who work in ministry with teens are.  I have to say that some of these got me thinking.

some being #14 wishing for someone else's life, relationship or possessions, #15 complaining, #23 Laziness. Give up TV and commit to going to a walk every day and praying the rosary, #38 If you're judgemental, pray for every person you see. #73 Thinking about food all during daily Mass, #80 Buying spiritual books and not reading them, #97 Pretending you don't have time to go to Adoration and #98 Pretending you don't have time to pray at home.

These are the ones that stuck out to me because, well, they are me.  I do complain all the time, albeit to myself, but I do complain.  I know I am lazy which is why I try every Lent to do a couch to 5k or something similar, because the Catholic guilt ingrained in me, says I'll do it more if I make it a Lenten discipline.  I actually sat on the bed before thinking, "I should go for a walk, but it's so cold out, but I should go for a walk, but it will be dark soon and it's snowy and messy out there."  See, lazy and complaining, so yeah I might want to try and give them up for Lent.

 I am a judgemental bitch, I won't lie my first thought at Mass today was, "where the hell do did you all come from" followed quickly by "at least there are here, may God's grace fill them to return on Sunday."  I think my pastor shared my sentiments, but that's for another blog.  So I'm kinda doing that, in trying to quickly turn my judgement into a prayer of some sort.

Let's face it, today's a day of fast which means one large meal and two smaller meals with no snacks in between, but that's honestly what I do pretty much everyday and I'm still young enough where I can do a full fast, though that didn't work today, as I caved and had an English muffin, but I didn't fall to the temptation to keep eating because it would be my one meal of the day. I've left that up to dinner, which will be some sort of frozen fish and vegetables, I ain't gonna complain when my mom decides to cook.  I might be a grown (I just typed groan, instead, I wonder what my subconscience is trying to tell me.) but I am still a lazy one see the above entry on not wanting to go out an walk. Though I did walk to Mass, so at least I got out and did something not so lazy.  Anyway back to the point, it's easy to think about food at Mass when you haven't had anything to eat yet. I want to turn this into not thinking about any outside things at Mass.  I tried to not think of all the annoyances of an Ash Wednesday Mass, people there just to be there, who don't know what to do.  I know it's great that they are inside the doors and I hope and pray they return each Sunday, but that's up to them not me. I'm trying not to be judgemental, but I totally fail when it comes to Mass and people not knowing what to do, again that's another blog.

During Lent I will go to Mass daily , except Saturdays, and here's the lazy part of me, as 7:30am is too early for me, I like the ease of 12:05pm and I have my routine of walking to Mass set from the past few years.  So I'll try not to think about food or something else that's bothering me and we'll see how it goes.  This was the idea that came into my head today while at Mass, so I'm going to take that as a prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I own so many books that I have purchased at conferences and I really, really, really want to sit down and read them, but I go on facebook or twitter or start playing a game on my iPad or phone and well time just quickly passes by and I haven't read my books. So yesterday it hit me, that I try to read a Lenten reflection book, so I decided to turn that into a read a book a week challenge.  I have books of all sizes and all by different authors.  Oddly the majority of them are books I started to read and stopped for some reason, they literally have bookmarks in them.  As this is a partial week I opted to finish Doers of the Word by Cardinal Dolan and Behold the Mystery by Mark Hart.  Both are "easy" reads and I should be able to get through them quickly and both are short compared to the others I have picked.  I will probably fail at this one, but it's all good, as I'm doing something other than staring at a computer or TV screen and I'm doing what I intended with the books by actually reading them.

The last two are ones that I should do year round and stop telling myself that I don't have time to sit in a Catholic Church with Jesus in the tabernacle or that I don't have time to pray when I'm at home. I do plan on daily Mass so if I'm not in the "I don't want to serve at Mass" mood I will try to go early and spend time with the Blessed Sacrament, but the judgemental person in me will be complaining that people are talking while others are trying to pray.  (I sound just like my pastor, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that he and I get along for the most part.)  As for praying at home, I'm going to turn Come Walk last year and actually liked their reflections on the Stations of the Cross, so I'm thinking I could do that after Mass.


So basically I'm giving up being lazy in many aspects of my life by actually getting out and walking to Mass and most likely a longer walk (where I can say a Rosary or some other prayer, or just have a conversation with God.), by spending time reading books, and trying to not be judgemental.

I of course will do my usual, daily Mass and Liturgy of the Hours as that's just something I like to do and have done the past few years. As I typed this up it seemed like I was thinking about doing a lot for Lent, but really these are things I should be doing year round.  I should be reading a book or two a month, and I should be praying daily, so if Lent is the excuse I need so be it.

There are many great recources out there too for Lenten ideas FOCUS offers a great app for Lent and it will remind you to not eat meat on Fridays. Busted Halo has great resources too. Busted Halo even offers an Instagram contest and does Catholic Sistas, so I will be participating in both of those. The links are to their respective Instagram accounts, but Busted Halo also has it on their Lent page.  Here's Catholic Sista's site and rules for their challenge.


It's a little late but you know what Lent just started and we have 40 days on this journey so here's what I plan on doing, hopefully I get to accomplish a bunch of things, but what I really want to do is bring myself closer to God.

I hope that whoever randomly reads this has a wonderful and blessed Lent.


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