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)