Lent 2014: Giving Up


download (1)As many of you most likely know, I am a practicing Roman Catholic. Which means by the time you’re all reading this, I will have begun observing the season of Lent, a time of humble preparation for the joyful mystery of Easter.

Trying to figure out what I’m going to ‘give up’ for Lent is always a bit tricky for me. When I was a kid, it was all about giving up something that I used in my everyday in order to make myself more mindful about the fact that I was supposed to be in the mindset of Lent- every time I didn’t put my additive sugar in my food or refused to eat a piece of chocolate, I was reminded of the season and what it stands for. As an adult, it is no longer as easy as giving up coffee or sweets, and I am often loathe to repeat the same abstinence twice (which has included giving up social media, getting back into praying the rosary at least twice a week, not cursing, writing letters to friends, going to Stations of the Cross every Friday, etc). I like to take up practices for Lent that I think will make me a better, more mindful person in a way that will last beyond the season of Lent and well into the rest of the year.

So, after some prayer and reflection, I’ve come up with my Lenten practices for this year:

1) I will give up time to memorize the prayers of my confirmation saint, St. Rose of Lima, in order to foster a better relationship between her and myself, and in doing so strengthening my relationship to the communion of saints and the cloud of witnesses. Hopefully this will open my mind to the larger community of faithful here on earth as well, and lead me to be better receptive of the advice and support of others.

2) I will give up time to memorize the Guardian Angel prayer to become more mindful of the ways in which God protects and is with me in a profoundly intimate and individual way through the medium of my guardian angel. Hopefully this will help me open my heart to the many different ways in which God can be present in my life.

3) I will pray these prayers once every morning, and add a chaplet of St. Rose on Fridays to keep up the practices.

4) At Mass on Sundays during Lent, I will give up my pride and take up the practice of wearing a chapel veil. I will adopt this practice with the goal of learning a new form of humility, as well as to rejuvenate my experience of worship during this season.

Whether or not you are Catholic, support during this time in the form of encouragement or prayers would be greatly appreciated!

For my followers, and those new to the blog:

If you practice Lent, what will you be ‘giving up’? If you don’t practice Lent, what kinds of things would you like to ‘give up’ for forty days in order to change perspective in your own life?

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