Ah, so here we are again ~ Lent!! This is one of my favourite parts of the litugical year which seems strange given that it’s a time of extended examination of conscience, simple living, going without and a general ‘moving away from the darkness of sin towards the light of Christ’ = the message given at last night’s Ashing Service.
Last year I gave up crisps [stop laughing ~ I can hear you] which was a major undertaking as crisps to me carry the same importance as chocolate to most other women. I succeeded too, for the whole of Lent, which amazed even me. In fact I still eat far fewer crisps as it created a new habit in me [I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that once you do something new for 21 days in succession it creates a new habit]. But the purpose behind that small sacrifice was to remind me to turn to Christ every time I was tempted to reach for the snack box and that happened an awful lot. Just as Christ was tempted in the wilderness.
This year ~ bouyed up by last year’s success 😉 ~ I’ve moved things up a notch. So, along with keeping life very simple, I’m giving up what I call mind numbing computer time and unplanned TV. I had cut down my PC time to emails and blogging only but since starting work I’ve been playing a game [Bejewelled Blitz] to wind down in the evenings but it’s addictive and time wasting so it has to go. Also both Si and I find ourselves channel hopping once our planned TV programme has finished and we end up watching something mindless just for the sake of it. I also tend to put the TV on in the bedroom at bedtime for the same reason ~ this too has stopped. We’re only going to watch the programes we really enjoy [and there aren’t many of those] and then turn it off and do something more constructive with our time. Simon is joining in with the TV ‘fast’ and last night we enjoyed a couple of hours sipping wine, eating simple cheese and biscuits and talking. To be quite honest it was lovely but we had to consciously choose to do it which was good for us. I’m also hoping that these tiny sacrifices will not only move me even closer to Christ but create more new [good] habits for the year ahead.
I’m also nearing my first anniversary since becoming a Catholic. It’s been a wonderful year faithwise with not a second of regret. It’s all I’d hoped it would be and more besides.
I’m focussing heavily on the Gospels during Lent and also using a book called “The Gospel Sustains Me ~ The word of God in the life and love of St Therese of Lisieux”. My lovely sponsor Liz bought me this a while ago and I’ve saved it until now to use and read during Lent. I’ve just finished St Therese’s autobiography “The Story of a Soul” as well so my timing is perfect for once. Historically I had wondered quite what all the fuss was about with St Therese but that just shows my ignorance because, having read her story, I am left inspired and motivated to continue on my quest to keep my faith simple and “do small things with great love” [Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta ~ another fan of St Therese]. The writings of St Therese portray a fervent love of Christ that is both breathtaking and simple. I am left in awe at her unshakable faith and humility.
Wishing all who read a spiritually fruitful and enlightening Lenten journey ~ may you all continue to move ever close to the God who loves you enough to send his own Son to die for your salavation….