What's the right thing to say on the first day of Lent? I love Lent. I love it because to me it is peace. It's more my nature... reflective, thankful, togetherness, family prayer and prayerful activities.
In the past, I have posted all the numerous things we do for Lent, For the Love of Lent, Budget Friendly Lenten Meals, Ready or Not, Lent is Almost Here, and several more (search Lent if you want to see more). But this year, I'm focusing on the heart of the matter - the heart of my family...MY HEART! And my heart needs the peace and love of God to be at the forefront. It's time to embrace LOVE (see above) and to understand how important it is to love others as yourselves.
Please read the Pope's Lenten Message for 2015. Here is how he starts it:
Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.One of my thoughts before Lent started was about our Hearts. The Heart of my family... my heart... my son, my husband, etc. So when I read that Pope Francis is encouraging us to purpose to have a heart like Jesus (all the time, not just Lent), I rejoiced.
"Make your hearts firm!" James 5:8 ~ Pope Francis said, "During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference."This evening, we will go and receive our Ashes... as a reminder that we came from dust... as a reminder that we are to be somber and remember all the things our Lord did for us, that He was born, lived His life, and then died for us... for our Sins, in honor of His Father's beautiful and perfect plan.
I'm not somber. I'm giddy with thankfulness. If I tried to tell you everything I'd been through in my life, you'd wonder why I wasn't sitting in a corner rocking back and forth. I have a word for you - FAITH! God literally saved me. It's like I get to give more than usual back for Lent and I'm so happy to do it.
People will say, "but Em, you are loving, you are kind". I will say, "yes, mostly... but there is always room for improvement!"
I can tell you what I won't do. I won't watch The Passion of Christ. I won't lament my past. I won't be sad and bleak. And I won't overwhelm myself or you with all the things I am doing. To be clear, I know the story of the Passion. I will participate in the Stations of the Cross. But watching that movie was too much for me. I get it. I adore our Blessed Mother for all she sacrificed in my humble name... though she did not know me. She gave her SON to die for me and you. I do not need to see Him whipped or hear His bones crack. I can't take that. I'm sorry.
I leave you with this thought, it was sent to my inbox this morning in an email:
Happy Ash Wednesday. Be blessed during Lent and always.
p.s. I think I told you all this, not that you are clamoring for me on FB, but I won't be there except on Sundays, during Lent. I need a break. I have a great variety of friends. But sometimes, FB just gets on my nerves... so I took it off my phone and iPad. You know how to reach me though. AND I will check FB messages (since I admin a few groups).
And please check back here and on my craft blog. I'm hoping not being on FB frees up plenty of time. <3
Relish His Love and love others... you won't regret that!
Hugs & Blessings,