Friday, February 15, 2013

Let's Lent!

   

"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly 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.”

So lent has been going on for a week now. How's it going for you? I have to admit I broke one of my lent sacrifices like 3 times in the first day, but when I caught myself I stopped and began again. I can already tell it's going to be a tough, but rewarding lent.

Every year around lent I hear many people bash others who give up things, especially dietary things. If you are using lent as an excuse to get back on you diet and nothing else I might agree, but I  if you use those sacrifice to discipline yourself and implore God I think they can be great gifts to him. When I think about sacrifice I go back to this passage...

Romans 8:13 says, "For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."

What should we be doing? Well perhaps we should just simply turn to the Catechism it says "The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies and pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works)." (CCC 1438)

As my children are getting older and slowly starting to understand more I have been racking my brain trying to come up with a special way for them to celebrate lent also. I googled and came across a couple really good ideas like the jelly bean prayer, the count down crown, or a lent box. Still I think they are a bit young to understand, so we pray with them and do our best to explain, but hopefully next year we will be able to do more with them. If I am able to do something more with them I'll keep you posted!

My focus for lent this year is the saints. There is great wisdom to be found in the lives of the saints. We can learn how to better love God and find strength in their story, knowing we are not alone. I don't know what I will find but I am excited for the journey through their lives. Each week during lent I am going to read up on a different Saint. I'll be learning about Saint John Vianney, Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint Cecelia, Saint Francis de Sales, and one other that is yet to be determined. They all have a special meaning to me already and I wish I could tell you more then that they are saints.

Do you have a saint that you have been wanting to learn more about?


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p44m2pLDfJ0/USJBnfc5qPI/AAAAAAAAGqo/oSFcCKX_Ahg/s200/Keep_Love_in_Lent_2.jpg

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!











35 comments:

  1. I love the lent box idea!

    I have such trouble when I pick specific things to give up (because I usually pick too many!)Part of my fasting this year includes 3 fasting (nothing but liquid) days in coordination with our 40 Days for Life effort. That has helped a great deal.

    This year, I picked one thing to give up and concentrated on more almsgiving with my kids.

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    1. Thanks! The lent box comes from a friend of mine. I too had to carefully select what I was giving up and doing this year because usually I do too much and don't make it through.

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  2. Nice post, Tiffany. There's a popular Catholic weight-loss program...that says "your 2nd chance is just a hunger pain away". It's nice to think that we can just start again and recommit to our Lent challenges...and hopefully we will stray less and less.
    I also love learning about the Saints! I hate to toot my own horn (ok, maybe I do?) but I have this craft kit that includes an anticipation chain for Lent. Each link profiles a different saint with basic facts. You might be interested in it: http://www.equippingcatholicfamilies.com/2012/11/new-advent-and-lent-quest-for-year-of.html

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    1. Great saying! I've never heard of a Catholic weight loss program.

      Anticipation chain is a great idea for all ages, I really like that. I have been by you blog before. You have so many great ideas I don't even know where to start!

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  3. I decided to give up coffee for Lent. I think it's funny people would questions others choices. I have been wanting to give up coffee and I figured Lent would be a great way for me to stick to it. It definitely hasn't been easy!
    We love learning about the saints in our home. We read about 1 saint a day. My kids favorite are Saint Therese of Lisieux and Saint Francis of Assisi.

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    1. I don't understand why you would want to put some's sacrifice down either. It bugs me. Coffee though, that I a tough one, or at least it would be for me. I hope you can stick with it!

      Both great saints! My confirmation Saint is Saint Therese of Lisieux so I know a little about her but it has been years since I refreshed my knowledge. That is why I chose her as one of the saints to learn about this lent.

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  4. I think one of the best ways we can raise our children to be strong Catholics is to introduce them to the lives of saints. I wish I would have known more about the lives of the saints and their beautiful examples when I was growing up, it would have changed my understanding of what holiness really means.

    My family's favorite saints are St. Anthony, St. Michael the Archangel, and St. Martha.

    God Bless!

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    1. Great saints! Our boys middle names are after the Archangels, I don't know what we'll do if we have more then 3 boys :)

      Growing up we learned a lot about saints and I am really looking forward to getting back into that. Hopefully involving my children too!

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  5. I agree that there is much more to Lent than just giving something up, but I think that giving something up still very important. Personally, it helps me remember that all of us need to give up, above all, our sinfulness to live a life of grace and that, ultimately, we will give up everything in this world in order be with our Savior in the next...

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  6. Great post, I started to do something a bit different this year for lent and that is instead of giving up here or there, I am trying to do more of things and those things that I am giving up, I try to attach someone to it so that it helps me to stick with it for the other. Many Blessings.

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    1. What a great idea, giving up to give at that same time!

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  7. So many. One of my goals this year is to start learning more about any Saint. I always find their stories to be written dryly, when in fact they are amazing lives.

    I just bought a book that I hope will help!

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    1. I agree, the story can often be grueling to read even if their stories are amazing. Let be know if the book helps!

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  8. Hi Tiffany!! I am a new follower from the KLIL link up! I love that you confessed having to begin again with your sacrifices on the first day of lent. I am sure so many of us can relate to your honesty! YES!! The saints can help us so much. I'm reading "My Sisters the Saints" by Colleen Carroll Campbell and feel so encouraged! God Bless!

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    1. I will have to look at that book and put it on my reading list. I am always looking for more books to read, especially faith related!

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  9. What a great way to focus your Lent by looking into the saints. I'll have to keep that idea in my head for next year. Instead of trying to do a little bit of everything, why not focus on one area? We love St. Ignatius and St. Therese! Have fun.

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    1. Hopefully getting some good tips on how to live a more holy life also!

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  10. Hi Tiffany! :) Thank you for your great ideas. I'll be looking for books with the Saints' lives. I had those when I was a kid and I'd love for my soon-to-be-born baby to be able to read these books, too! :) Thanks for sharing ideas! Love lots, Ginger

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    1. I grew up learning about the saints too, but I haven't kept up on my knowledge. Sadly I have forgotten a lot of what I learned. Congratulation on the new baby!

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  11. Hi! I could very well relate to you when you said that you had difficulty living out/sticking to your Lenten sacrifice beginning with the first day of Lent. I think that's the beauty of giving God our best offering. I think it's better to struggle in sticking to a fast or sacrifice that is difficult for your to do than to give God a cheap sacrifice like something you can do easily. I believe that our giving, in whatever form we choose to give to God and to our neighbors, should "hurt" us. Because when our giving hurts, it means we are not giving from our excess. It means we are giving something really precious. I pray that God would supply you with the necessary graces to be faithful in your commitments to Him this Lent. Pray for me, too. :)

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    1. I agree whole-heartily. You should read up on John Vianney, I just read a little about him. He is an amazing saint and he said fasting is one of the most pleasing thing you can do for God.

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  12. I forgot to add that my favorite Saints are St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. I once had a book called Retreat with St. Therese. It was such a helpful and inspiring book. I also love going through the biographies of saints like the story of God's Little Flower. Her life story never fails to inspire me each time. Her Little Way can teach or reveal to us many ways by which we can love God in the ordinary little things.

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    1. Great saints! The Little Flower is one of the saints I remember reading about when I was younger.

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  13. Tiffany-
    What a lovely sentiment.....
    Love how you interpret scripture and bring it to life. Thank you for the reminder to focus on the saints this lenten season. So important and I really needed that today...

    Thank you and God bless--

    ~Chris

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    1. Glad it could help. To God be the glory!

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  14. The lives of the saints is a good idea, never thought of it before! We can learn a big deal from the saints for they had lived most of their lives the season of lent, simply because they consecrated their lives to God in living humiliation, fasting, poverty, chastity and obedience, just like Jesus lived the 40 days in the desert.

    Thank you for your inspirational post.

    God bless.

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  15. Great idea about learning about a saint each week! And thank you for sharing the Romans 8:13 scripture verse and reminding us to turn to the Catechism!
    Will do!! :o)

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  16. HI there!
    I nominated you for a blogging award:

    http://campfiresandcleats.blogspot.com/2013/02/my-blog-award-my-nominees-and-some-fun.html

    Congrats!
    Hoping to get to know you thru the blogosphere!
    x
    Chris

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  17. Discovered you blog through Keep LOVE in LENT. I like the idea of learning more about a special saint to carry us through Lent. St. Francis deSales if one I am learning about and also Padre Pio who was instrumental in a healing I experienced last year.
    JoyAlive.net

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  18. Instead of judging others choices, we must focus on our own. I am intriqued by what others do to die to the flesh, a little bit during Lent. I know of a teenager who has given up her bed, pillow, and electric blanket. I can't help but think of Mother Theresa. I like the idea of reaching out to others to support others through prayer in their choices, you know, pray for one another, so that 'you' maybe healed. God Bless.

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  19. What a great idea to get to know more saints during Lent! I didn't intentionally make this a Lenten activity, but it seems to be happening on its own, and I am learning more about the saints, and am so grateful for their example and inspiration. So far, St. Paul, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Augustine, St Monica. I wonder who else will come up?

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  20. It is important to remember Romans 8:13 during lent, that we must die to the flesh and grow in the spiritual. This scripture can help us do our fasting ect.. without the grumble! =) I also love that you are keeping it simple with your children during lent, and know their limitations. Often times I think of lent as giving up or adding prayers- but to learn about Saints is a wonderful and appropriate idea as well! They can inspire us beyond our limitations and help guide us through lent as we learn about them. Thank you for the idea, I think I will add one saint to learn about during the remaing weeks. God Bless!- Sarah Hauer

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  21. Hi Tiffany, it is a challenge for little ones to understand sacrifice, repentance and forgiveness. I think it's hard for some adults too especially in our self centered society! That why we need Lent each year to slow us down and refocus us on the biggest event of our lives! The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross has opened the Gates of Heaven for us. That's what I tell m students. It's a good idea to pick a new saint per week to learn from. Did you "pick" a patron saint for the year? Mine this year is St. Jane de Chantel who I'm not familiar with so she picked me! God bless you on your Lenten Journey. May the saints inspire and convict you and be your intercessor!

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  22. The saints are a great focus! There are so many inspiring men and women to emulate and learn from at different stages in our lives! I hope that you have a very fruitful Lent:)
    Michelle

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