Monday, 8 February 2016

The Lent Project

If you're Catholic (and think that matters), the question of the week, and maybe of the past month is "What am I giving up for Lent?" Of course the discussion of this question is complicated by the fact that it's easy to get caught up in either spiritual pride, or comparison, or hopelessness.

'You're giving up sweets? Commonplace. I'M praying the Hail Mary and doing an ab crunch for every word. I'll be holy AND hot by Easter! (I am of course inspired by THIS weird list).'


'Wow. Everyone around me is doing daily Holy Hours, walking barefoot everywhere AND reading the Imitation of Christ.. I couldn't even pray every day last Lent. Why bother?'

Also, even when the decision itself is made in humility and prayer, it's sometimes hard to decide whether to share with others one's decision, or to keep it to oneself. Such conflicts arise as- I'm inspired when I hear about other people's Lenten sacrifices. But if I share mine with others, am I showing off? If other people know, they can help keep me accountable... but humility demands that I speak as little possible about myself. Then again pride often makes us self-sufficient and unwilling to open ourselves to others.

Obviously INTJ Catholics like all other INTJs over-analyze.

 But the question everyone should face is- WHY? Why Lent? Why give up anything? Is it just a cool spiritual practice? A way to get healthy, like a 'cleanse', or just a test of your own willpower?

It's more than that. First of all, Lent is not just about fasting- it's about PRAYER, FASTING and ALMS-GIVING. It's about re-aligning our hearts to God's heart.

'Catholic aren't Puritans- we like the pleasures of the body, we think they're good, they're God-given. BUT when they become dominant, they become the Lord of your life, then your deepest desire for God isn't realized. And these desires are so pressing, they're like little kids- "I want it, I want it, I want it", "Now, now, now!", and if you allow them to dominate you, they will take over your life.'  Fr. Robert Barron

Lent is a chance to create space in our hearts and our priorities for the Lord, in a very practical way.

One of my favourite quotes is- 'Discipline is remembering what you want.' But really it should be 'Discipline is remembering WHOM you want.' To allow my restless heart to rest in Him, I need to take a breath from chasing after the things that's don't fully satisfy. To allow His light in as I dust off the mirror.

This year I thought I would share one thing that I feel called to do. I'm going to post 12 blog posts over the course of the next six weeks of Lent. But I will only write about His priorities, the things He is saying and doing in my heart and life. No randomness, romance, INTJ obsessing or snarky commentaries until after Easter. It's going to be good, though!

Walk with me on this journey through Lent. I'll be praying for all those who are reading.

P.S. I'll be off Facebook, so I'll ask someone to share new blog posts on the blog FB page. So if you read my blog and want to be updated when I post, go ahead and like the page.

1 comment:

  1. :) I've done blogging things for Lent before and they were really good for me.