Thursday, February 23, 2012

The three pillars

So here we are again, beginning that Holy Season in the Church called Lent.  A season marked by the three pillars of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  What are you plans for Lent this year?  Are you giving something up or adding a good habit to your repertoire? Apparently the most popular things Catholics give up for Lent are caffeine and chocolate.  But did you know that the Church actually "requires" nothing?  Aside from encouraging us to abstain from meat on Fridays, we are not officially required to fast from particular things.  And frankly, if its not done with a penitent heart, what is the value? The whole idea is to bring about a spiritual renewal, to turn our hearts more towards the Father; to begin again.

If you've been doing any Lenten clicking, you'll find a plethora of ideas for your family.  One of my goals is to just spend more time as a family in Scripture.  I'm working on a little project to help us out with that.  And to that end, I'm posting the Church's daily Gospel readings, from the USCCB.  They follow such a beautiful rhythm.  And if you get a chance or missed it at Ash Wednesday yesterday, peek at yesterday's readings as well.  A reminder of why Catholics (and some other Christians) use the outward sign of the ashes.

Gospel Lk 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised."

Then he said to all,
"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?"

I love this particular Gospel because it encourages me. I reflect on it from the point of view of homeschooling ... I feel that in making the choice to homeschool and to use Natural Family Planning - both things done in the name of following God's will, I have in fact lost my life for Christ's sake :).  The life I "thought" I would have at this point.  The life where I only have the first two kids, they are close to leaving home and I'm free to focus on myself and my own interests exclusively.   But no, where I'm at is soooo much better than that.  That's the thing about God's will, if you are open to it and listen to Him, His plan is so much better than anything we could ever dream possible!   

And there is joy!  JOY!!

God bless your day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you! Let's talk!