With no better place to start, the blog officially begins with Lent. I am not a cradle Catholic. In fact, a recent convert from Episcopalianism. I went through the Rite of Welcoming rather than the full RCIA process. I am not sure it is practically any different aside from the final liturgical form. Regardless, Catholic moving forward.
This is my first Lent as a Catholic. Coming from the Anglican communion it isn’t really a huge departure from what I have known. However, it does feel like it has more… gravity. It was important to me to get my ashes this year. It meant something to me. I picked my daughter up from school during lunch and we attended mass together. It wasn’t our normal parish church but rather one super close to my office. There were moments throughout the service where I was almost moved to tears.
At the conclusion of mass there was a lovely little old lady handing out free daily prayer guides for Lent. I took one. When we got back to the car I read day 1 then placed the booklet in my console. Yesterday, day 2, I read the second chapter:
Lord, help me pay less attention to the narrow walls around me, and more attention to how you will enlarge the hall of my life and fill it with blessing!
Those words really slapped me in the face. I know I spend far too much time worrying about… stuff. I spend too much money on stuff. My brain is too full of stuff. I needed that reminder to take a step back and evaluate the reality of my life. I thought and prayed on it last night. It was on my mind first thing this morning. I began to chart out some real changes I need to make in my life. Meaningful changes. Lent is a time of self sacrifice, reflection, and giving back. In no particular order, these are my action items for Lent 2017:
- No alcohol
- No brain-dead television
- No spending money on myself aside from life sustenance expenses
- Cut monthly household overhead by reducing frivilous expenditures
- Read the Bible every day
- Find a way to give back to the Church through volunteer work
That’s it. Those are my Lenten goals for 2017. I have already (quite accidentally) violated one sacrifice but that will be a story for tomorrow. Pax vobiscum.