Ash Wednesday: Dust to Dust

This liturgical year is a strange one. First, the 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve were on the same day. Now Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day. And then Easter is on April 1st. Everything seems to be moving so quickly.

As I said before, I’m not a well prepared person. I often wait until the very last minute to get things done. Thanksgiving was a rare moment for me. The house was cleaned and mostly set the day before (had to wait for a few things so the kids didn’t have the chance to break glasses). Christmas, Santa doesn’t do any wrapping until after I get home from Midnight Mass and the kids are actually asleep. Birthday cakes are usually not frosted until right before the candles are lit.

I’ve been trying to change that for awhile now. It hasn’t been going that well.

The fact that I’m actually scheduling posts to be published is slightly mind boggling to me. Even if it’s a day or two in advance, it’s kind of a big deal. I’m using this as part of my praying portion of the Pillars of Lent. The other 2 are Fasting and Alms Giving.

Lent is a time for not only preparation, but it’s also a time for action. If you notice the 3 Pillars of Lent are all verbs. Action words. They imply that there’s doing to be done. It’s a spring cleaning of our souls. Tiding up, making sure our hearts are welcoming place of Jesus.

I’ve been planning in anticipation for Lent this year. And I’ve had some help. My wonderful sister gave me this beautiful devotional “She Who Believed” from Blessed Is She. You can get a digital copy here as the hard copies are sold out! Just a disclaimer: I am not a paid sponsor of Blessed is She. I love the community of Catholic women that BIS fosters. Check out their website for daily devotionals and a blog written by women of all walks along their faith journey. (I’m also planning on getting up earlier to ready the BIS devotional)

I have set timers to remind me of another portion of my prayer time- silent contemplation. I plan on beginning with the rosary. Then I’ll move in to pray in a Lectio Divina practice. This means a divine reading. It’s a way to meditate on God’s Word. I’ll be using the daily readings (check off another prepared thing- I have them listed on paper so I am not tempted to get lost the online world). And from there, I’ll let the Holy Spirit guide me. I’m really going to try for an hour, but am for sure sticking to 30 minutes.

I’ll also be attending St. Edward’s weekly small faith sharing groups (and am helping with researching and writing the bios about the women Saints we’re learning about) and and the Wednesday night Soup and Psalms.

For fasting and abstaining, I am sticking to the Code of Cannon Law: Fasting and abstaining on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstaining from meat on Fridays.
(See the links for more information.)
I’m considering fasting on Wednesdays (not Cannon Law), not just from food, but from Facebook on my phone.
I’m also giving up a small pleasure and yelling at the kids (It’s already not going well). I’m trying to have more patience- this will be a struggle for sure, but for the better, for all of us.

I will be Alms Giving too, but haven’t come up with what that will be yet.

I pray our Lenten Journeys will lead us closer to Christ.

“Return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning”
Joel 2:12

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