"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”
By mid-day on Ash Wednesday, I was curled up on the couch in terrible pain; not quite the start to Lent I had planned.
Planned...it's always good to have a plan for Lent, but I know from experience that when God has another plan it is always better for His plan to override mine. So for the next three days I tried to be patient and ride out the worst of the stomach flu that hit me. I was not able to do one of the things that I had set out to do thus far, and up to that point I was okay with it. I mean, really, it was only the first three days of Lent and there were still 37 more to go; more than enough time to make up ground.
What hit me out of the blue, however, was the wave of despair that got me the other night. The kind that snaps the rug right out from under you. The kind that makes doing anything feel like it will take a Herculean effort. One of the books on the reading list I had planned was "Drinking From the Dry Well" by Thomas H Green, so in a way I've been preparing for this, but it never is easy when it hits.
So how does one even think of beginning 36 more days of prayer and sacrifice and penance when the ground underneath is so dry that the cracks are big enough to swallow up small children? Well, one way is to drag oneself to that great Sacrament of Reconciliation; the font of God's mercy. The vessel of grace that allows us a small enough drop of consolation that we can begin to feel like loving instead of grumbling. Oh, it's still hard, sometimes almost impossible, to continue to love and not grumble, but God's mercy is endless and HIS Love is great, and so each day allows us another opportunity to begin again.
I've heard numerous times over the past week that Lent isn't about what we give up or what we do but about how it all brings us closer to God. That's what I'm trying to focus on right now. That, and living in the present moment, which is really all that we have.
How about you? Has your Lent started off on the right foot or are you finding it difficult and dry? If that's the case, how do you deal with it?
Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.
Discover new Catholic Blogs to follow!