Today I was asked to write a “Lenten Reflection” by the gals over at Fine Linen and Purple, who host the link-up of “What I Wore” to Mass every Sunday. Here goes nothin’!
I think I can count two seasons of Lent when I reached Easter and actually felt I had prepared for Christ’s resurrection, that I had been cleansed and grown. This year I am really trying to grow in Holiness, closer to the Lord and in the faith. It is so helpful to have daily reminders (homilies, the people in my community, etc.) of my Lenten observances, but perhaps even more helpful is learning about and having the practices and purposes explained.
During Lent, in order to cleanse and purify our hearts, contemplate the passion and death of Christ, to prepare and be able to fully celebrate the resurrection, we are called to: fast, pray and give alms. I am a very practical person, so here is a little synopsis of these three tasks we are called to, and a practical way you can put them into practice. I hope these help you along your Lenten journey!
Purpose: Growth in self-control, so that we may free the body as opposed to being enslaved to the body.
Don’t spend as much time on the internet/tv.
Give up a little dessert or seconds at a meal.
Try not to say any negative or sarcastic jokes.
Hardcore: Only eat bread and drink water for one day.
Purpose: “Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” –Matthew 26:41
Practical application: Take on a special prayer devotion such as the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, A Novena, The Morning Offering Prayer, etc.
Offering it up whenever you get impatient, envious, scared, mad, excited, lonely, etc.
Pray for those who wrong you, who annoy you, as well as those you love and care for.
Purpose: To grow in the virtue of generosity to overcome greed.
Practical Application: Give a little gift to a friend, pay for a meal for a friend or stranger (drive-thru difference).
Get something from the store for a sick family member/friend (medicine, their favorite comfort food, etc).
Offer something to someone who asks for something, or even when they don’t ask for it, even if you really want it. (Ie. The last piece of cake, the choice of where to go for dinner, etc).
Choose an organization whose mission you really stand behind and give a donation or volunteer to help with them.
Today we went to Mass at the closest Basilica to us: Cristo Re. It was really wonderful because there was a choir made up of families, young and old and the songs were so upbeat and lively. It is an absolutely gorgeous day in Rome. Viva Cristo Re!
I bought this skirt specifically for the first time I came to Rome 6 years ago, and realized I styled it today exactly how I did back then…