Looking back on Lents past, I remember so many heartbroken days. I have experienced an awful lot of sadness and loss during Lent.
This year, I hope it’s different.
I’m looking forward to Lent: looking forward to an opportunity to look introspectively into my life and find the places that need to be fixed, need to be healed. Together with Fr. Jeff, I am encouraging our students to give up something other than chocolate. Instead, we are inviting them to look at their lives and see places that the Holy Spirit is working to transform them and to go along with that transformation. I’ve had beautiful conversations with the women in my women’s groups. Some are planning on writing down their prayers, some plan on fasting from judging the other girls in their dormitory when they go out and party. These women are an inspiration to me, and I’m hoping that I can live up to the challenges I have set for them.
For resources, I just have a few suggestions for you, my dear readers. I have recently fallen in love with bustedhalo.com, which features several ideas for Lent. Their video, Ash Wednesday and Lent in Two Minutes (http://bustedhalo.com/video/ash-wednesday-in-two-minutes) is really good to review the meaning of this liturgical season. Then, the articles 25 Things to do for Lent (other than Chocolate) ( http://bustedhalo.com/features/25-great-things-you-can-do-for-lent) and The Practical Guide to Lent (http://bustedhalo.com/features/the-practical-guide-to-lent) are great resources. Finally, I invite you all to join me in participating in the Fast, Pray, Give Lenten Calendar, which will give us a challenge every day for something to fast from, pray for, and give. I think it’s a great idea.
For 2012, I have been making goals at the beginning of each month and at first I was worried I would have a hard time separating my Lenten penance from my monthly goals (one of which, as you all know, is my book challenge). But, I’ve come up with some ideas that I hope I can stick with. I will share them, not because I want to boast, but because I hope that you, my friends, might hold me accountable. The first is to keep up with that calendar I mentioned above (seriously, it’s pretty cool). The second is to fast from music while I’m getting ready in the mornings (something I truly enjoy) with the intent of using that time for reflection and prayer. One of my students talks about praying in the shower, and I think it’s a brilliant idea. I’m also giving up Netflix, except on Sundays (when I really ought to give it up altogether… I watched ten episodes of Buffy last Sunday… think of the books I could have read instead…). That time I will use either to study, read, or (most importantly) spend it with my community doing something other than watching tv (Amy’s giving it up for Lent). I’m also going to join one of my students in writing my prayers down at night, like Aibileen in The Help. I think this will help me focus and add a new dimension to my prayer life as well as going along with my 2012 goal of writing more often.
What are you all doing for Lent?
Please pray for me!