Saturday, March 17, 2012

Update on my Lenten experience

I just read a great blog post here ....not Catholic, but it really hit me.  Man...remember my post a few weeks ago about the start to our Lent...Ash Wed. rocked, in a penitential sort of way LOL.  (Plus we were all set w/ the kids after our kids' Lent Day at church.... popcorn "kernels of kindness" anyone?) And then.....I sort of started to slip...sigh ... temptation? Argh. No, not sort of...REALLY slip.   I don't know.  First, I was only going to drink water this Lent... and I started getting horrible headaches.  I didn't realize how much caffeine I was having every day (tea and coffee, maybe some chocolate, but no sodas.)  So I decided to let myself have either some tea or coffee each day....  Then, I was going to do the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, found here .  And several long hard days happened, or crazy events and ...I forgot, and forgot again, and... sigh.  I was going to fast on Wednesdays on behalf of the political/religious battles going on of late....nope, forgot.  Or how about that Novena for, nope.  Daily Mass?  Un-uh.  Adoration each week? yes!  And that has been wonderful, in fact...I feel a deep deep desire to spend more and more time w/ Our Lord in Adoration.  I wish it were available more than one day...I wish that everyone (in our parish) were filing in to spend time there!! :( One day...from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  That's it.  Granted, we live in the (Evangelical/Baptist) Bible belt and Catholics are a minority here, but...we have a large parish.  C'mon!  Anyway, I pray for an increase in attendance.  Back to my Lent....  so yeh, it's been one crazy Lent...a kid w/ a broken arm, some illnesses, terrible allergies, a few stormy days, a friend or two's loss :(......and of course crazy busy-ness.  In fact, I spent about 4 days on my feet all day every day last week LOL  I am telling myself that that makes up for my broken Lenten fasts sigh.  I tried to offer up my work on those days.  I was so exhausted...just physically spent.  And humbled by the thankfulness I received.  See, we had this parish retreat last weekend....called Light of the World.  Went from Friday night to Sunday night.  I am the kitchen/hall coordinator and so I coordinated the food.  One man did 3 of the meals, and I helped, and did one of the meals plus snacks. went well, and I survived and I know how to organize better for next time  :)  But just more of how crazy insane my Lent has been.  One of those days, I had the worst bladder pain I have had since my hysterectomy a few years ago. ( I have IC  ever since Noah  fyi.) Offer it up, offer it up.  So...again, I am hoping these things make up for my crappy broken promises sigh.

And then, too, yesterday I was blessed to attend the St. Columba employee annual retreat up at Blessed Trinity .  Oh how I love this place now (since I first went, on my Cursillo.  I love when you walk in, that it smells like my grandparents' house. LOL (was built in the 60s I believe, but so well-kept)  I love that I just feel utter peace when I am there.  I love having Mass there.  I love the food there LOL (even when it's just soup and bread for Lent "fast" :)  I love the little single bed rooms there.  The quiet.  The sisters.  The beautiful grounds.  We had a silent retreat, actually.  And it was just so peaceful...I so needed it.  Just sitting outside, on the swing in the shade, by myself, in the quiet (except for all the bees buzzing around and birds chirping :) it literally distracted me during my rosary LOL)  I actually dream of going up there like, oh, I don't know, once a month? lol for a "mother's retreat" :P  Okay, how about every 3 months?  Anyone game? :P  A weekend...fri night to sun. afternoon.  ahhhh. Anyway, let me post the prayer we ended with, at the end of the day.... I feel like it re-centered me :)
God, heavenly Father, look upon me and hear my prayer
during this holy season of Lent.  By the good works you inspire, 
help me to discipline my body and to be renewed in spirit. 
Without You I can do nothing.  By Your Spirit help me to know what is
right and to be eager in doing Your will.  Teach me to find new life through penance.
Keep me from sin and help me live by Your commandment of love.  
God of love, bring me back to You.

Send Your Spirit to make me strong in faith and active in good works.  May
my acts of penance bring me Your forgiveness, open my heart to Your love,
and prepare me for the coming feast of the Resurrection of Jesus.
Lord, during this Lenten season, nourish me with Your Word of life
and make me one with You in love and prayer.  Fill my heart with Your love
and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ.

Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness.  Give me new life
by Your Sacraments, especially Eucharist.  Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old life of sin to the new life of grace.  Prepare me for
the Glory of your Kingdom.  I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever.  Amen.

So here I am.  ("Here I am, Lord..." lol)  Still drinking a little tea or coffee each day, for a better Lent, hopefully.  There's always hope.  Of course...our ultimate HOPE came from EASTER.... the Resurrection.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come!  Can't wait. to muster some late night prayers before bed :) (and reallllly not worrying about editing or writing correctly!)

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