Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Shrove Tuesday, etc.

Happy: Shrove Tuesday Fat Tuesday Paczki Day Mardi Gras Day before Ash Wednesday

I think I have covered them all. Yes, it is hard to believe that Lent is almost upon us. By the time you are reading this, we will probably have already gorged ourselves on Paczkis from our local bakery. Once a year it's worth the effort to get out early for these delicious treats - especially the ones filled with fresh strawberries and loads of whipped cream. As we eat them, we are, of course, focused on the fact that tomorrow starts the great season of Lent - a time that I look to with both joy and trepidation.

Joy because by the end of Lent I can usually look back at all of the trials and see the immense graces and blessings that have come from them.

Trepidation because I have to go through all of the trials.

More often than not, I make a Lenten plan and then chuck it all because God shows me what it is He wants me to do for Lent. Usually it is things that are not on my list.

Well, we spent Sunday laying out our Lenten plan anyway. Every year we try to do something as a family that is food related. Last year I made them all give up wheat. It was interesting, to say the least. This year I suggested we give up high fructose corn syrup. We spent Sunday and Monday checking all of our food labels and finding out how many items we now have to find replacements for!

Right before we sat down to plan this all out, I read an article in the "National Catholic Register" about using your diet as a Lenten sacrifice. The author's point was that if the diet is not focused on God, but instead on just how it will help you, it's missing the point as a Lenten sacrifice. I brought that to the table and asked how we could focus more on God by giving up high fructose corn syrup. For some of us, maybe the mere act of focusing will become easier! In general, however, we decided that because we will be making more things from scratch, we will have more work to do and will be spending more time together in the kitchen. Therefore, the struggle of trying to do all of that joyfully and charitably will bring all of us to our knees a lot more often!

For the past number of years we have also picked six meals and eaten them on the same night throughout Lent (i.e. spaghetti every Monday, tacos every Tuesday, etc.). In order to keep control of how many things we will have to make each day, we decided this year to schedule our breakfasts and lunches, too. Our Lenten meal plan for this year will look something like this:

Day - breakfast - lunch - dinner
Monday - oatmeal - chicken - ham steaks
Tues - muffins - sandwiches - tacos
Wed - pancakes - eggs - soup supper at church
Thurs - oatmeal - sandwiches - pizza
Fri - toast/fruit - baked potatoes - grilled cheese/soup
Sat - eggs - whatever - Parmesan chicken

It should be interesting, especially for Mr. 3 yo who doesn't like anything but cereal for breakfast and lives on breakfast bars for snacks. (I'm hoping to see an improvement in his behavior after all of this!) Throughout Lent I will let you know how it is going.

Also, every year at this time for I can't remember how many years now, my husband and I have done the "Preparation for Total Consecration" according to St. Louis de Monfort. I just realized that it began on February 20th. That means we have already missed the first three days! In case anyone else out there meant to start this on the 20th and forgot, too, here is a reminder! If you've never done this consecration, this year would be a great time to consider it. It is a wonderful way to consecrate yourself to Our Lady and it is one that you can renew every year. If you miss this cycle (more than we already have), the next one starts on March 26th. I have an older copy of the book, but this newer copy looks like it should be the same thing, and for only $5!

With all that being said, I'm going to go and finish off my Fat Tuesday part of the day. I pray that your Lent will be joy-filled and fruitful!


  1. Oh,Laura, thanks for all of this helpful advice today, REALLY! We talked about Lent in the car on Sunday and came up with our ideas, but I love yours as well. I may want to call you and ask you more about the h.f.corn syrup sacrifice. I think it's a stellar idea! I actually woke up this morning thinking about your wonderful organization class and thinking "she should do something like that for us at Lent" and HERE IT IS on today's blog! God is so good! I forgot about your menu idea and again I just love it. I didn't realize the consecration started on Feb 20th. I guess one clue should have been my seeing Fr. Miguel walking around with the book on Saturday...duh....have a blessed day and pray for Gov Jindal tonight. Thanks for the bakery reminder for today, too! Much love and prayers, Dolores H P.S. I'm actually going to be limiting my computer time during Lent. Also, a large sacrifice for me would be giving up coffee. My kids are "scared". They think it's more of a sacrifice for them :)

  2. Just to let you know... St. Patrick's isn't having a soup supper on Wednesdays anymore - I think they're starting to flip flop it with the corned beef and cabbage dinner. There are still going to be Stations of the Cross though...

    ~Laura K.

  3. There is no soup supper on Wednesdays this year.
    ~Mary K.

  4. In the past, we have turned off the television for lent...I'm not sure that we can actually get any schoolwork done around here without being able to "plug-in" Snorkie once in a while...hmmmm.
    We do cut out sweets (well I do anyway) and try to keep the kids limited...
    Our church started having "poor man's suppers" on some of the Fridays during lent to encourage people to stay for Stations of the Cross...it works pretty well.