March 5, 2014

A Gentle Lent

I'm very much hoping for a gentle Lent. Each Lent I have felt like a boxer, bruised and beaten by my opponent. I've felt victorious, but battered.

Its not so much the things that *I've* given up as what I was *asked* to give up. I do mean asked as in not having a choice with what was given up, but needing to give it up, while it was forcibly taken, cheerfully.

Each year I did have certain things which I 'gave up,' such as chocolate, honey on my cereal or ice cream, but it was the things which were taken that were my *real* Lenten sacrifice.

Jobs. Houses. Churches. Friends. Dreams.

Not so cheerful.

Some of my bruises from past Lents still feel tender.

Each year before Lent I have been given a 'word' or a 'theme' for the upcoming spiritual year. This year I received the word "gratitude" on a little card from our women's Endow study group on suffering

When I saw the "EE gentle Lent" quote was from St. Francis de Sales, I was hooked. Every day, I read a quote from him before I go to sleep at night.

"Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually: "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me but in Me and I in Him."

I feel like I need a gentle Lent; I'm really hoping for a gentle Lent, but I'm giving up worrying.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me but in Me and I in Him."

Lenten Reading: An Introduction to the Devout Life (Tan Classics)

Lenten Listening: Lent at Ephesus

Lenten Praying: Liturgy of the Hours, Night Prayer (Compline)

The Lord bless you and protect you;
The Lord smile on you and be gracious to you;
The Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.
Be a saint!  


Anna Yager said...

I just found this wonderful night prayer:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
watch over us as we sleep,
that awake, we may keep watch with Christ.
and asleep, rest in His peace.

I pray that your Lent will be a peaceful one.

Monica said...

Hi Sarah, I've not visited many blogs lately and so I thought I would stop by today. I hope your Lent is going well and feeling gentle. I think I understand about that. Sometimes life beats us up enough and what we really need is to not to give up anything else, but to work on gratitude and trust in God's plan. Take care of yourself my friend :-)