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Archive for the ‘Lent’ Category

Hello Lent

This has been a Lent with a whole new element of penance, as I’ve never been in the last month of pregnancy during Lent before, and expecting a baby before Easter.

A few days in and I can clearly see, this year that perhaps the main sacrifice God really wants from me right now, is for me to willingly accept my suffering in whatever form it comes w this pregnancy, and later with labor and delivery. … ( I can’t offer what I don’t have, hence the acceptance part) . The time has come, instead of feeling sorry for myself, to humble myself and willingly offer this holy work to the Lord , ‘this too for love of You! ‘

As for the rest of my Lent, I had made a plan, but then a few days before Lent started, God decided to take over:

So I was praying the 3rd luminous rosary mystery, and this line really stood out: ‘The time has come, the kingdom of God is at hand, repent, and believe in the good news!’ Then I felt God saying: ‘this lent, the time is now. Turn away from all your wayward tendencies, these things that just don’t fill you, walk w Me instead, more and more, for as you journey closer w me these 40 days, I will strip you of these last few obstacles still holding you back and drawing you away. Come Easter, you will be new child, believe, My light is coming, quickly! Let go of your own plans, that I might plan your lent instead.’

Well, now He had my attention.

I already knew some of this, but I love how God just simplified everything, it doesn’t feel like a burden making sure I’m remembering what I need to be doing lol!

Sweets. The time has come. You will be strengthened like never before this lent, and Sundays will be a little taste of heaven.

Screens. That’s the other great distraction you are drawn to. The Facebook thing, as before. All social media. Let go of that pull, the world is not for you. PUT THE PHONE DOWN!

Charity- respect, gentleness, softer tones. PATIENCE. SERVE OTHERS ahead of yourself. Humble- before your family, and before Me.

Choose silence, this lent you are to grow greatly in silence. And Let go of control and choose My way and watch, watch what we can do together! You do not need anything extra to read, except the respect book, for that is a powerful tool. If I need you to read something I Myself will put it on your heart.

And write. Child I want you to continue to channel grace through that blog, as much as you can. Make this your prayer.

The fast I choose, is to free you. Free from sweets, and speaking. Learn to listen. Free from the pull of screens. And free from the doing, of ANYTHING that is outside of My will for you at that moment. Humbly choose My way.

And Fridays? Not what I want Lord, what do You want?

Fridays, your primary sacrifice, is to be tears. Return each Friday w fasting and mourning, over souls. I require no great penance, your heart is already there, all I ask for your Friday is that your heart would be completely united w Mine, in reparation for sinners. For souls. Allow yourself to cry, first over all of your own sins, over those of your household, and others…. then, cry over the sorrows, injustices, deceptions and lies, over the ugliness of sin, and over the world you live in, the world that I made. Cry, for souls, cry out for My mercy for them! I will surely hear and honour the gift of your heart!

So this has become my Lent this year, less sweets and screens, plus more silence, extra charity to my family, and extra humility… Especially when it comes to my suffering.

A few Lent Links:

Even if you do nothing else for Lent: http://dynamiccatholic.com/bestlentever/

http://catholicism.org/suggested-lenten-penances.html

http://www.christiethomaswriter.com/kids-ideas-blog/40-lent-ideas-kids/

http://callherhappy.com/40-lenten-activities-for-kids/

past lents:

2014

2013

2012

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This is Fr Robert Barron’s reflection for today. I’ve sensed this kind of theme from some of his other reflections for this year, but none as direct as this one. There were none of these judgement overtones in last years reflections.

Could God be any more clear?

 

LENT DAY 23 – GOD OF THE NATIONS

“While we take comfort from much of the Bible’s message, the Bible is not always comforting news. It often carries a message of warning and danger. During this penitential season, it’s good for us to attend to the darker side of the biblical message.

When we read about the pollution of the Lord’s Temple, we discover a familiar prophetic theme: the people have wandered from the ways of God, rendering impure what God intends to be just and upright. God sends prophet after prophet in order to bring his people back, but they are ignored, mocked, and rejected. Then God’s judgment falls on the unfaithful nation.

What is the instrument of God’s justice? In one case, it was the Chaldeans, one of the heathen nations. They came and destroyed the city of Jerusalem, burned the Temple, carried off its most sacred objects, and led the people into exile.

What was this? Dumb bad luck? Just the give and take of geo-political forces? No! The Bible insists that this should be read as God’s action, more specifically, as God’s judgment and punishment. How at odds this is with the typically modern Enlightenment view, according to which religion is a private matter, confined to the heart and the mind of the individual. For the biblical authors, God is the Lord of history and time, and hence the Lord of nations and the Lord of nature. His works and actions must be discerned in all events.

If you want an example of a boldly theological reading of political events, look to Karl Barth, widely considered one of the greatest Protestant theologians of the twentieth century. At the start of the First World War, Barth was a country pastor in Switzerland who had been trained in the confident liberal theology that was all the rage around the turn of the last century. This theology shared the common view that with the rise of the natural sciences, the development of technology, and with political and cultural liberation, human beings could build the Kingdom of God here on earth.

From the quiet of his parsonage in Switzerland, Barth followed the horrors of the First World War, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands, the devastation of nations, the collapse of the European social order. Then something dawned on him: it was precisely the inflated self-regard and hubris of nineteenth-century liberalism that led to this disaster.

He saw the European powers as descendants of the Tower of Babel builders, attempting to reach up to God on their own terms and in their own way. Behind the sunny confidence of the liberal period, he discerned arrogance, imperialism, and colonialism. The advances of science were made possible through the rape of the environment and economic comfort for some was made possible through the enslavement of others.

In the end, bad personal habits have bad consequences, but bad national habits have bad consequences as well.”

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Photobucket

Fri Feb 28

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– Superman found the missing potty!
– boys all playing happy in a patch of sunlight
– superman dancing doing dishes
– boys writing their math tests, each w an empty chair for Jesus
– after a lot of struggle and frustration, a breakthrough- superman struggles to write numbers without the lines- but that is plenty good for now!
– his happy dance when he realized he could write his numbers!

– afternoon activities- pattern blocks, baby school box and adventures in odyssey
– sun shining rainbow block colors on the floor

– my little helper spreading tomato sauce like a pro
– (blessing DH by putting him first)
-adoration, peace and clarity and a deeper sense of His love as reality starts to sink in more
– fellowship and discipleship all the way home

Sat Mar 1

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-Lord please bless this food and may it get me through rosary

– my little munchkin just hanging w me in the kitchen
– apple cinnamon oatmeal
– WAU on how to see others
– toddler playing Nintendo w his feet
– little boy in his high chair doodling w the marker cards while I planned the next month

– roller coaster fun- this is by far the coolest thing I’ve ever picked up for free by the side of the road
– shooting the cars across the house
-k-nex men hanging on for dear life
– superman’s super loop
– baby blue monster
– family time spread all over our living room ❤
– playing at the playground w Jesus
– dancing and praising up a storm w Him on the wood beams

– ta daa!
– all my guys looking up in wonder as the cars went over the top
– daddy, let me help you
– engineering awesomeness #besthubby

-Zucchini tomato pasta, my attempt at recreating one of the knorr frozen skillet dinners
– everybody learning to working together to clean up – baby steps
– awesome day, only accident was my fault because I did’t get him to go when I knew he needed to! He’s really getting it! 😀
-Juice party under their mushroom
– happy happy fingers for everyone: one for my awesome dish washer tonight, one for my awesome potty training star and one for my little superman ( and 2 for my big superman)
– Lols w DH – rethink your pencil design
– boomerang baby running out to us- ta daa!

Sun Mar 2

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– baby sitting w me for a morning snack, making bananas out of crackers 🙂
– WAU – the baptism of Jesus
– superman suddenly looking intently in the niche thought was empty for that elusive cracker he heard
– my 5 year old seems to be confused about what march means for the weather

-heather was at church today, so good to see her again!
– a second excellent broadcast all about practical forgiveness

– still getting used to the two little boys on Sundays 🙂
– mmmm Mexican fiesta today, these enchiladas are just the best 🙂

– boys all playing boy stuff w sticks on the back deck
-little bear crawling in the dining room
– pikachu peekaboo

– toddler just decided to go pee by himself 🙂
– froggie and gill, together at last!
– Lorax movie and discussion about the world’s idea of success 🙂

– roly poly spinny kids
– even though my leg has given out for tonight, still, I have an opportunity and the ability to serve and bless my husband 🙂

– my comfy bed after a long day, top gear and mom’s lemon mousse 🙂

Mon Mar 3

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– Ty God that it’s still early, never too late to start the day over
– a shelf for all the stuff on the boardroom counter- only 20 minutes too late lol..

– falling in love w a little 4 year old girl on the Internet, oh dear!
– toddler prancing around in my froggie shirt

– Ty for the crazy this morning, pushing me to want to make some healthy changes around here- I’m done w white bread
– superman built his very own railway track

– favourite childhood story book – smiles and happy time in our otherwise bad day here
– mmm leftover Mexican 🙂
– pikachu motivation at the end of the row of 9s
– big kid wrote ‘tool’ today

– wow I have never had a day that threw me off this much without an actual crisis! Thankful for a hubby who can step in to pick up the slack, make this worn out mama some healthy dinner and watch a movie. Tomorrow will be another day!

Tues Mar 4

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– Thank you that the sun is still shining behind the dark clouds
– Ty that Your mercy is new every morning

– everyone working together to make juice
-Bible party in the bathroom
– toddler serving his brothers the food he made in his kitchen 🙂
– poo over the potty and not in his underpants!
– a lesson on place value 🙂

– boys w block goggles
– homemade lasagna ready to assemble for the crock pot
– a typo of mine, I want to clear off the mantle…

– after 3 accidents this morning because I was distracted, he went to pee all by himself!

– lasagna came out delicious in the crock pot, even w the noodles uncooked 🙂
– mmm shrove tues crepes
– one last smash brothers session before lent
– superman w his pikachu all wrapped cozy in a towel

Wed Mar 5

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-Ty for a personal lent that will be unlike any other

– Ash Wed and there is blowing snow out the window. By the end of light it should be gone 🙂
– FB is off my home screen, I know this is a good thing, but I find myself clicking the weather or just turning off my phone again because that was all I unlocked it for!
– beautiful deep purple curtains make excellent lent cloths 🙂
– simple Lenten altars
-crayon pictures of each of the things we’re giving up for Lent ( kids decided for themselves w a little help)
– toddler on the bookshelf

– hockey glass
– sneaky toddler climbing back out of my room w 3 chocolate orange slices in his teeth
– afternoon family prayer together: station 1.
– all 3 boys snuggled and listening to the Lorax

– snow eggo
– long afternoon shadows across the yard
– prayer speed date w Jesus over tea

– ash wed mass w just my 5 year old
-unexpected surprise, seeing our friends there at mass too
– the moment where the whole family went up to get their ashes, even the baby in a carrier 🙂
– those 2 little boys together w their ashes 🙂
– just the two of us, w really long legs!

– a cop car to lead me through the shortcut by the stadium back to where I was supposed to go
– sleepy supermen ❤

Thurs Mar 6

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– Ty for a play date this afternoon

– an elaborate play setup
– superman dangling over a shark tank, oh dear!
– the Lord’s Christ, suffering for us

-little boys sitting on the mat listening to bible
– spice jars all lining up to see king Noah ( to demonstrate numerical order)
– making lollipops, we make a ball and then a stick
– it’s a bacon day

– renewed wonder and love during my praise litany

– a whole bunch of books and booklets and goodies to bring over to bless our friends
– a long awaited play date after 3 weeks or more
– a nice long chat about the kids and faith and lent
– I finally got to tell her all about Annabelle

– all of us coming home from our play date to a semi tidy house and supper in the crock pot
– boys running circles around each other

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“Above all powers
Above all kings
Above all nature
And all created things
Above all wisdom
And all the ways of man
You were here
Before the world began

Crucified
Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all”

“Jesus Christ
You bled Your love, laid down Yourself
And gave me life
In naked shame You hung and You were lifted high
Here I lay in awe and wonder
I am afraid
For no one’s ever sacrificed and loved me this way
So on my face I fall under Your heavy grace
Here I lay in awe and wonder
And I wonder”

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The last 2 months or so have been really tough. This year has been, by far, my toughest lent. Of course, it was only the last year or two that I really ‘got it’ at all… Even so, it has been a Lent unlike any other.

Firstly, I chose to give up treats and they’ve been everywhere! I don’t think I’ve ever had this many treats around me (except at home) when it’s not Lent! There was a reception every week after our faith study sessions, a baby shower, a lady with starbucks samples at chapters…

And then shortly after I stepped off seriously into this journey to Texas, I was hit with weekend after weekend of flus and colds both myself, and my family as well. There was one weekend out of about 6 now that I have not been feeling sick in some way, and several of those weeks have been sick enough to be I bed.

The colds and coughs are still lingering over most of us, and even though we’re feeling better the house, our routine and our overall morale have all been taking a hit.

I’m not asking for pity, I’m mostly writing and posting this as a reference mostly for myself as to what was going on in my life, my mind and my heart during this time. I would however be grateful for prayers. That said, I also know that there is meant to be a resurrection for every crucifixion… I believe once Easter comes it will be a time of great joy and celebration, especially with the trip to Texas etc, so I am really excited to celebrate this year, and to see what God has in store for the next few months!

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Reflections on the Cross

I had been feeling a little jaded from meditating on the sorrowful mysteries every day, especially the agony in the garden – I had started wondering what was th big deal, so I reminded myaself of some more of the details as I prayed through them in the car this afternoon. I had been forgetting how he faced head on His father’s will and submitted to it, a will that required him to be completely CRUSHED under His Father’s awesome power. Yikes!

When we in our modern world think of the brutality of the cross it seems strange, foreign and unreal – but we have to remember that that was the punishment during the time when He was alive. It seems unnecessary that Jesus should have to be tortured etc, but that was the justice system back then. Nowadays he’d waste away in a cell, but back during his time, that was the penalty for serious crimes. And He was punished as if He himself had stolen, killed, raped.

He died a sinner’s death Himself to prove His unconditional love to every single wayward sinner – There is nothing you can do that would stop Him from loving you.

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Lent 2013

It’s Lent already. I actually knew it was coming this year, but unfortunately, I am really no more prepared than last year.

I did feel the need this year to specify ahead of time what would and would not be allowed for the NO treat/no seasoning fast.

-Fasting-
40 days – No treats: sweets, desserts, chips, pop, cocoa, candy, whipped cream, cookies, chocolate, creamer in my coffee…
OK: light caramel with yogurt and apple, light sugar in my tea, light creamer in my coffee, applesauce, muffins, bread pudding. Jam, Cheese spread, cream cheese and jelly on crackers ok. A sweet dressing on my salad is ok.

Weekdays -No Internet, fb, email, blogging- in morning (after 7:30am), and no computer after 5. (The extra free time can be used for decluttering as well as extra time for prayer and reading).
OK: type notes/gifts – in the morning, posting qts on Friday.
Tues – no computer. Period. (Tues is already a fast day and I don’t want to miss out on weekly quick takes on fridays.)

Fri – No seasonings: No salt, pepper, garlic, herb, spice or jam. (No meat either, of course.)
OK: peanut butter, salad dressing, tomato sauce.

Good Friday – No Computer. No seaoning. Sparser meals.

Prayer
Me – PRAYER at some point (each letter stands for something)
Kids – I think we wil just keep doing the daily mass readings at school time, rather than focus on scripture set this year.
1 Station of cross after lunch – with kids.

Alms
– patience and grace – lower voice and no jumping to conclusions: give the benefit of the doubt. POSITIVE.
– Giving jar if I can find it –

The Kids will have the paper chain and their lent activity from last year: counting items for the giving jar. (if I can find it!) I also really need to do something about some Lenten décor – I have a few Christmas things that still need to disappear and I really wish I had some purple fabric or something…

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Update:
On Ash wednesday I re-introduced them to Lent and I strongly suggested the kids give something up several times, but they really weren’t having any of it, they didn’t want to part with anything they cared about. I did explain that was the point but they just weren’t interested. I figured it was something to talk about again next year, but then later my oldest told me he did want to give something up, so we got a box and he and his brother put a bunch of toys in. I was so proud!

I did find the giving jar, and a small number of coins for us to count out. I also found a number of purple articles of my clothing that let me bring a bit more liturgical color to my displays.

http://catholicicing.com/2010/02/lenten-sacrifice-ideas-and-activities/

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