Let’s talk Lent……
A time of penance…..
a time to reflect on your life and where your priorities are…..
As adults….it’s tough.
We are under the scrutiny of our children.
How we observe Lent in our lives….is how important they will see Lent.
Here are a few ways to enter Lent today on Ash Wednesday:
Begin your day with receiving ashes. The ashes remind us that “we are from dust. And to dust, we shall return.” It is to remind us that we are nothing without God. Make sure you teach your children to wear their ashes proudly…whether it be at home, at the grocery store, or at school.
Splash purple around your home. Purple is a sign of penance and forgiveness. Change out candles for purple ones. Add a purple tablecloth or place mats. Purple napkins tossed over your crucifixes is a great way to enter Lent as we observe this time without the crucified Christ.
Lenten Coloring pages. I will be using a coloring page about Ash Wednesday from this book. It is full of great pages to use throughout lent. I like to photocopy a page and put it out on the breakfast table with some watercolors and a breakfast muffin. The kids love it! You can also color these yourself and laminate to hang around your home.
Make a visit to a local pretzel factory. Pretzel factories are a staple here in the Philly area so we will be hitting one up after Mass. They have also come to be a symbol of Lent. Wikapedia states, ” There are numerous accounts on the origin of pretzels, as well as the origin of the name; most agree that they have Christian backgrounds and were invented by German monks. According to The History of Science and Technology, by Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, in 610 AD “…an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, ‘pretiola’ (“little rewards”)”.
Practice getting and giving ashes. I told my children that I would let them practice giving their baby dolls “ashes” using my eyeshadow. This is a great way to remind them of the focus of the ashes and to remind them of the significance of the day.
Finish your planning. Decide what you are “giving up” or “taking on” for Lent. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and tackle your calendar to make it happen. Help your children to “count down” the days of lent with a lenten calendar. Lacey over at Catholic Icing has put together this great Lenten calendar that we use. Click on the picture for the link to Lacey’s web page to download.
So I encourage you this Lent….to dig deeper.
My Uncle used to have this sign up in his home:
“If you were on trial for being a Christian….would there be enough evidence to convict you??!!!”
Wow…..I know, right????!!!
Stew on that one for a while….I did…..EVERY TIME I visited…
This Lent……..dig deeper than you ever have before…..
Don’t give up something like chocolate….give up something like complaining.…
Don’t give up Facebook….give up complaining on FB…..and be a positive “light” to your friends and family.
Don’t give up bread….deliver several loaves of bread a week to a soup kitchen or make bread and deliver it to older “shut ins”.
Find that one person who is the biggest “stress” in your life…..and try to make them feel special.
Do you have a clothes budget for March?….blow it!!!!….. on clothes for a homeless shelter or buy diapers for a crisis pregnancy center. (this picture was from my daughter’s birthday party. In leu of gifts, her friends bought canned goods for our local food pantry and diapers for the women’s pregnancy center)
Find out what is holding you back from being a true Christian, and remove it from your life….. and if you are in your own way….move aside…
So that when Christ “moves” the stone ” aside” on Easter….you will truly experience Easter joy!!!
If you want to read some more of our Lenten traditions, you can read about them here.
Dig deeper…..(I’m praying for you!)