I've read a number of articulate, stirring posts on this Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. (Arwen's is amazing, as usual.) I cannot even pretend to have the ability to write like that, but I want to write something about my Lenten plans. If for no other reason, I will have an official record to keep me accountable for my Lenten sacrifice(s).
I am going to focus on areas of doing without and clearing the noise and getting closer to God.
- I am going to go meatless on Fridays and at least one other day of the week. We eat a number of meatless meals, but I am going to do this far more consistently and with a purpose. Note - this is OPTIONAL here in Canada. Just like some of the HDO's in the US (we only have 2 non-Sunday ones - Christmas and January 1st).
- I am going to curb my judgmental thoughts - those towards others and the world in general. The silent rants at the "slowpokes" on the bus, the grumbling about the cold - when I catch myself doing this, I am going to focus on the blessings in my life - blessings that are more bountiful than I deserve.
Clearing the Noise and Getting Closer to God
- We are going to do the "40 Bags in 40 Days" Challenge wherein we will divest ourselves of a bag of stuff for every day of Lent. Due to the reality of our lives, we won't be able to do a bag a day (and by bag, I am aiming for shopping bag), but this will motivate us to be more organized and less distracted by STUFF. I will post updates as to what was in the bags - stuff for the foodbank? Books from our duplicate pile? Old clothes? Shredded paper? How thrilling, huh? But it will be a good exercise in humility, I think - how much we have and how lucky we are.
- I am going to pray at least one hour of the Liturgy of the Hours - either morning or evening, if not both. I did this during Advent and it really helped me focus, and I think it will help my resolve.
So - there you go. What are you doing for Lent?