Mid-Lent check-up

3 pillars of LentOne of the kids in my First Communion Class asked me how many more days are left in Lent.  When I answered that we are just about halfway through, there was a very loud, disappointed chorus of aawwwws from most of the class.

Right about now, are you saying “aawwww” as well?  How’s Lent going for you? At the midpoint, it’s time to take our spiritual vital signs.  Have you been keeping up with your promises of fasting, praying and almsgiving?

If you’re like me, you’re having moments of frustration, especially with fasting.  When I’m feeling particularly stressed, and even when I’m not, I eat dark chocolate.  I love dark chocolate; it’s creamy, not too sweet and full of antioxidants and other good stuff proven to help calm frazzled nerves.  The trouble is, I gave it up for Lent (against the advice of my family).  In previous years, I have tried to fast from dark chocolate but negative outcomes, to use a sanitized medical phrase, prompted my husband and children to beg me to just eat it for the sake of family harmony.  This year, I attempted it again and to date, I’ve been doing well, please God.  There was an incident with some rocky road fudge and a couple of near misses but hey! I’m not perfect.

If the same old routine isn’t working, change it.  This year, I resolved to approach Lenten sacrifice differently with prayer as my central discipline and everything else stemming from it.  To many people that may seem obvious, but it’s taken me a bit longer to get to this point.  I haven’t added more prayer in my day, other than to attend Stations of the Cross and Friday evening Mass with my family, but my attitude is different.  I am more focused and deliberate with the resolution that quiet, relatively undistracted prayer is the most important part of my day no matter how busy I am.

Please continue reading at Catholic Insight……………..

Deo Gratias

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17 Responses to Mid-Lent check-up

  1. SaintlySages says:

    I never go near Hershey Pennsylvania during Lent. :-))

  2. Me says:

    Bless you! The first Lent I practiced, I gave up chocolate (this was a newly-wed me before I converted). That was foolish for a first timer. I may attempt it again next year, especially since you have shown that it can be done. I am the hugest sucker for the dark varieties, even more so when it is frozen.
    I have slipped up a handful of times this Lent and slip into prayer when I know I messed up. However, as Lent goes on, I slip up less. Thanks for the checkup!

  3. madaughter says:

    I hear you on the chocolate. I like your notion of “taking the vital signs” at this mid-way point. Rather than the usual, my husband and I gave up a treat that really is a part of our routine on weekends – going out for a fantastic breakfast in town. That might seem slight, but we literally LIVE for that on the weekends.

    My focus has really been on developing my prayer life, and staying away from the online world as much as possible.

    Not only are these things making me think during Lent, but I believe they will have long-standing implications beyond the forty days.

    Thanks for your wonderful post, Terry.


  4. madaughter says:

    P.S. I usually bake loads of stuff through the week and throw in chocolate chips in much of it. For Lent there has been no chocolate in any cookies, muffins or breads. :-0

  5. Remember in your prayers eight kids . God will make away for us in this lent period .Amen

  6. Once you put your heart and soul into the work of discipleship you’re going to be innundated with advice from other Christians: Pray the rosary daily, go to Mass three times a week — or every day, say a novena, develop a devotion to one of the saints, wear a crucifix or a miraculous medal, make a pilgrimage to a holy site, give up something you love for Lent, spend more time reading the Bible, take a class in religion from a nearby Catholic college…. Shall I go on?

    My point is that no one can, or should do everything. Think of the Church as a gigantic toolbox. The idea isn’t to use every tool in the box. The idea is to use the right tool to do the job God has assigned to you!

    We need to remember that Christianity is not a do-it-yourself project. Find sisters and brothers in the Lord who’ll get to know you, and can guide you to an understanding of what you need to do what you need to do.

    The Catholic Church is so big you’re sure to get lost in it if you don’t know where you’re going.


  7. lilyboat says:

    mine is all mental. I chose to give up feeling discouraged or sad, because these negative feelings do not come from the Lord. So instead, I decided to stay uplifted, and find courage in the Lord during the entire season of Lent. I probably should have made this resolution long, long time ago! 😉

  8. Reblogged this on theraineyview and commented:
    I’m having a hard time this Lent with prayer and am not in much of a position to do almsgiving. Even being patient with neighbors is a lot to ask right now. But it’s possible. Today, this moment, every moment, is a fresh start.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Ugh I gave up sugar for Lent and it is SO HARD! You are right, though, what a lesson in humility when we can admit that we’ve messed up. And the small sacrifices remind me to be more loving throughout the day, as well. We’re halfway to Easter! 🙂

  10. I’m still struggling with my resolution to give up coffee. There are days when I really miss it! I always feel like I should be doing more for Lent. I need to remember that I just need to make this a simple, prayerful time, not a feeling-guilty-that-I’m-not-doing-more time!

  11. I think one of the reasons I have been more successful this Lent is I’m not trying to do everything–just what I really need to do. Many Lents I add some kind of prayer practice, plus I fast, then try to do something to grow in virtue. And I seem to get nowhere. I am giving up eating sweets and between meals, which is very doable for me. Then I am working on trusting God in a specific way. I’m not doing any extra praying–except the many times a day I have to pray not to break the other commitments I’ve made! LOL. Some days it seems too easy. Other days it’s quite hard. But I’m not trying to act like I’m super strong and can do a dozen things at once.

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