How We Lent around Here

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I’m grateful that I’m committed to contributing a post to the Catholic Women Bloggers Network bloghop today, because the truth is  our family has been needing to reevaluate “how we Lent.”  What was once a pretty intense observance has in recent years become fairly cursory and my husband and I are not happy about that.

Why did this happen?  I’m going to blame a combination of factors–our move five years ago to a house half an hour away from our parish church,  no current affiliation with a Catholic school (after 14 years), and having less and less of an inclination to leave home for church events or any other events (caused probably by burnout after years of extreme involvement).

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I often feel out of place when wearing my Catholic blogging hat because (as you will no doubt see if you–as you should!–read the rest of the posts in this hop) the majority of Catholic mom bloggers seem to be living faith-filled lives and setting great examples for their little kids and basically being all Catholic all the time better than I’ve ever been able to manage.  But maybe I am not the only one out there who feels this way and so I’m going to go public as Catholic slacker blogger to encourage all the rest of you to do better this Lent.

Now I am tempted to say, “We are so bad and sinful and we have been doing Lent all wrong! We are going to be so holy for forty days!  We will do all the Lent things there are!”  But I kind of feel like that is a recipe for disaster.  For several years I prided myself on my extremely strict Lenten fasting:  No meat at all–even fish–for forty days (except at the Friday fish fry).  No eating between meals.  No food at all on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday.  Nothing but liquids until supper on every Friday.  And no Sundays off!  I stopped doing that a few years ago and I am not going to do it again.  Honestly, I think that strictness is part of what triggered my “failure” in subsequent Lents.

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So here is what we ARE going to do (insofar as we have planned at this point).  We will all make some form of Lenten sacrifice; we will follow all rules regarding fasting and abstinence; we will go to the Stations of the Cross EVERY Friday; I am going to participate in an online book club; and at least some of us are going to take part in this Lenten meditation.  We may do more, but that will be icing on the cake (presuming no one gives up cake!).

For more ideas for Lent observances, please visit the other posts in the hop by clicking the picture below.

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How do you “do Lent” in your family?  If you want, you can tell me in the comments!

 

0 thoughts on “How We Lent around Here

  1. Sarah Damm

    I tried to comment once, but somehow it was lost, so here goes again …

    You are not alone in thinking that everyone else is doing more—and doing it better—this Lent. I think many, many women feel that way. More than those who think they have it all figured out. We just need to be more honest with each other, and we also need to not be so hard on ourselves. I recently received some wise advice, which I elude to in my own Lenten blog post: Lent doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to Him. That is what is going to hold me together this Lent … God bless your Lenten journey!

  2. Chiara

    ‘Honestly, I think that strictness is part of what triggered my “failure” in subsequent Lents’ Very true! … Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves… we easily forget that God is love and He is the only one that can make us perfect in our ‘imperfections’ and failures. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Ginny Kochis

    Leslie, I can promise you – my house looks more like a circus than a faithful Catholic family! You are such an inspiration to me: a no-nonsense, faithful Catholic woman who embraces and speaks the truth about every tenet of the faith. I’m so glad to be on this Lenten journey with you!

  4. I hear you! I’ve started out with so many big plans…and then find myself barely clinging to one of them by Holy Week. This blog link up has been great to read about so many different approaches. I’m hoping to tackle one or two…but we’ll see how it goes. =)

  5. hailmarryblog

    I love your honesty! Last year was a pretty big Lent fail for me, other than fasting and abstaining from meat. Prayers for this year to be a renewal for us both!

  6. tracybuasmith

    Leslie,
    You are not alone and I can relate so much to your post. I get discouraged by so many things daily, not just Lent. I love how you are going to commit to focusing on some things. I signed up for Ginny’s letter meditation too! Hope I can keep that up! May you have a blessed Lent! Visiting you as fellow CWBN participate. 🙂

  7. “Catholic slacker blogger”!!!! Hahahaha!!

    That said, one of the things I spoke about with our chaplain is how I didn’t want to “force things” on my kids, if they are not the age to do so. He agreed that, right now, the things I am doing (aka abstinence Fridays, Nineveh 90, etc.) are *my* spiritual journey. The children should not be required to have no television, abstain from meat, etc. Someday, they will *have* to participate – I don’t want them to think as their Faith as being just a set of rules, rather than a way of life.

    I also agree – having been super rigid in the past, I think contributed to my burnout in college, and exploring other faiths at that point. So, I am always cognizant of what I am doing now, so that I make sure I am not heading down the same road. Because, being rigid and all “gung-ho” in the past has led me to needing more of a break from Church activities a time or two. Thankfully, every time I hit that stage currently, it is time for us to move again, and I get about a month off before diving back in! 😂

  8. You are so wise, Leslie, to stick with a few things and do your best at those. Too much all at once is almost always going to turn into ailure and a ton of guilt to go with it. Better to take on a little and succeed, that’s for sure!! Love all the perfectly folded palms!! That’s something we’ve never tried yet. Maybe this year!!

  9. I’m trying to pray the Stations every Friday also. A retreat house near us has beautiful outdoor Stations that really help you enter into the mysteries. Since you’re reading Walk in Her Sandals too – I’d love to know how that affects your experience of the Stations over the weeks!
    So glad I found you through this CWBN blog hop. Blessings!

  10. Pingback: The Lent I Needed | Life in Every Limb

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