Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Beyond Chocolate

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, a day that begins the 40 days of Lent, when we're called to fast, pray and seek to become more the people God calls us to be.  It is a time when we are supposed to be penitent, prayerful and fasting.  It isn't about giving up the good, it's about self denial, sacrifice and seeking the best rather than substituting other goods for the Good. 

So here are 40 things besides Chocolate to consider when making your 40 day Lenten Resolution (Not in a particular order).

40) Begin a daily rosary regimen
39) Volunteer at a soup kitchen
38) Visit the sick
37) Participate in Operation Rice Bowl by surrendering Friday Pizza Night and putting the savings in the bowl for the hungry.
36) make a weekly visit to Adoration
35) Daily mass
34) Fast from Facebook/twitter/internet
33) Read the Psalms
32) Fast from Television/Video Games
31) Credit Card Fasting
30) Take on a daily Divine Mercy Chaplet
29) Daily readings
28) Try the 40 bags in 40 days donation discipline
27) Fast Food Fast (no fries for you).
26) Go Meatless.
25) Add a weekly Confession to your must make appointments.
24) Alcohol/Coffee/Caffeine  (yes this includes soda) fast
23) Offer up one's sufferings.
22) Give up gossip
21) Fast from the News (News Junkies like me find this very trying but healthy).
20) Surrender your anger/frustration at some pet peeve that you feel entitled to own. Announce that you are surrendering it --and ask for help when it comes back to tempt you.
19) Give your kids 30 minutes unrestricted time, each, daily.
18) Abstain from sweets (all), because it is supposed to be a sacrifice, not a substitute game.
17) Start the day counting fifty blessings before you hit the floor to practice gratitude.
16) Volunteer for a local shelter
15) Tithe
14) Begin serving in the mass, as a lector, member of the choir or as someone who simply helps clean and maintain the church.
13) Join a bible study or prayer group even if you aren't normally a joiner.
12) Attend a retreat.
11) Study a saint/doctor of the Church for the season.
10) take on a chore for someone else. Don't tell them.  Just pick it, do it and keep at it for the whole 40 days.
9) Pick a gift of the Holy Spirit, make it your study, your practice, your focus for the 40 days
8) Make a Total Consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary
7) Make a pilgrimage.
6) Make a spiritual bouquet.  Write letters to your family, tell each of them why you love them in detail.  Pray for each of them as you do this and daily throughout Lent.
5) Have a weakness that hasn't been mentioned, make that one the one you will spend this Lent combating. 
4) Consider the 7 Dolors of Mary Rosary
3) Daily Prayer for the souls in Purgatory
2) Care for the Poor --physical or fiscal, but consciously chosen and consistently done for 40 days.
1) Engage in a combination of contemplative and petitioning prayer, fasting and service. 

Now the question: What are you doing Sherry? 

As a Lenten discipline I'm quitting Facebook, although my blog will still post automatically and limiting my Internet time one minute at a time 40, then 39, then 38, so that I will spend less and less time online. (I'll write the blogs and then post them, but won't spend time surfing or exploring the blogosphere when I should be doing other things).  As for the rest of this, I'm still discerning at this point. 

Happy Mardi Gras Everyone. Off to make Jambalaya for dinner!

1 comment:

Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

A blessed Lenten journey to you and your dear family! Stopped in for Small Successes...but happy to have found this lovely post, instead! Thanks for sharing:)

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