Monday, April 7, 2014
Lent Checkup 2014
I always want to come up with clever titles for posts, but then I can never remember what I named a specific post when I want to go back later and check on my former self. So, today I bring you a super catchy title to draw you in, and help me find it next year.
According to my journal I had big plans this lent. And since lent is only 5 weeks old I can recall, without much difficulty, the sacrifices I had intended as I began this holy season....
Before I proceed I want to take a brief moment to explain the catholic notion of sacrifice. Like I have said before, I wish the whole world was Catholic but I know that is not true. So, here it goes.
In A Nutshell:
Catholics believe that Christ came to bring us everlasting life. But before we get to the everlasting part, we have the living part to get through. When Jesus was with us he taught us through His example. When God created us He knew we needed to see, taste, touch and feel in order to learn and live . He gave us His son so we could do all of those things within His teaching. The church helps us live Christ's example by guiding us to live our day to day life in union with Christ.
We know that Jesus went to the desert for 40 days for fasting and prayer. Our holy church guides us to do the same thing...in union with Christ, to prepare for his death and resurrection. So Catholics "fast" from certain things, which leads us to prayer, which leads us to live our days in union with Jesus.
There are much more in depth things out there...try this and this
Anyway...back to me....
I went into Lent with a way better vision and hope then I entered Advent. I blew Advent and I did not want to go 2 for 2 as my Alaskan Catholic record . I know Lent is not over yet...but I can see where it is going and where it has been for me and I see the need for review.
Big Start: INTENTION
1. Drink Nothing But Water:
No wine, coffee, milk, juice....nothing but water.
1. I lasted until the Feast of The Annunciation for all of the above. On the FOA I caved..it was a feast day and we kinda had a family party that day and I drank 2 cups of coffee....I allowed myself to think it was a part of the celebrating the feast...but I really just wanted coffee.
2. Pete and I had a long overdue date this last weekend and I did have a glass of wine..it was Sat. night, after sundown so technically it can be counted as Sunday. But I'm not really into the whole partial sacrifice model. I struggle with an ALL or NOTHING mentality. And I either give it up...or I don't. Using that very strict guide, all or nothing, I have not succeeded in the only drink water intention.
3. I have not drank any milk or juice...except one slug of OJ this morning because I had that silly notion of..."what the heck...I've already blown it".
And then I realized I do that a lot. I allow myself to think all or nothing type things in lots of areas....
: it's rainy...It will not be a good day.
: my hair is to short and my bangs are horrid: I will never look pretty again.
: Pete got annoyed at me: Our marriage is going in a bad direction.
: I drank wine once, added coffee back, and drank some juice: Lent is RUINED!!!
But really..is that the point?
Have I felt closer to Christ and our church through these small sufferings?? Yes!!
Have I gained a new understanding of how much wine and coffee effect me? Do I like those effects?
All the things I choose to do have an effect on my heart and mind. When I pray more, go to mass more I truly FEEL different. I think different and I act different.
Can I count Lent as a success so far even though some of the lists I made in my journal will go unchecked? I am tempted to feel the all or nothing ruler be my judge. But there is so much that happens between All and Nothing....and that is good stuff.
And I realize there is still the last stretch and I don't need to give up...if anything, take a deep breathe and re-commit . That seems more..hopeful!!
Here's to hope...