Of course, we’re observing all Church traditions regarding fast and abstinence. Josh and I both spent time in prayer to discern what God was calling us to give up. I’m giving up Facebook and Josh is giving up espn.com. Bless his heart. When he felt God calling him to give it up, he was a little disappointed to say the least. He most definitely does not want to, especially with March Madness just around the corner. And I can’t say I’m particularly thrilled about giving up facebook. However, I know if I spent a fraction of the time in prayer that I spend on Facebook, God would most certainly be able to work wonders through me! With the boys being so young, we didn’t expect them to choose something to give up. Instead, we decided this would be the ideal time to take their tv privileges (or more accurately, lack thereof) a step further. They’ve been without cable for sometime, but we’ve decided to remove all DVDs and videos that aren’t either educational or spiritual in nature.
For our family almsgiving we’ve stocked up on non-perishables. Each day, both boys will get to go to the cabinet and pick one item each to donate to our box. We will deliver the box to the poor at the end of Lent. We’re also participating in CRS’ Operation Rice Bowl. I love Operation Rice Bowl and we add an additional fun twist. Josh and I deposit a quarter anytime we use a curse word, gossip, make a judgment about someone, or engage in general negative commentary. CRS provides a calendar that has a suggestion each day for either giving alms, Lenten Scripture passages, stories from the less fortunate around the world and more.
To increase time in prayer Josh has chosen a devotional book, Classic Catholic Meditations to Enrich Your Faith & Help You Pray by Fr. Bede Jarrett, OP. I will be making the Stations of the Cross each day. It just occurred to me that we haven’t selected an activity to help the boys spend more time with Jesus in prayer, so we’ll have to get on that this evening.
We’re also planning to spend each Friday evening at Church this Lent participating in our parish Fish Fry, Mass, Stations and the Lenten Speaker Series. This is what I’m actually most excited about. I think these Friday evenings will be invaluable time together as a family, with our Church and with the Lord.
This is by far the most we’ve ever planned in advance for Lent. That makes me nervous. You know what they say about God laughing while we make plans…. I recently read a fabulous article in the February issue of Liguorian magazine about seeking God in not only in the sacrifices and circumstances that we choose but also those that we do not choose this Lent. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for us as we seek Him this Lenten Season.