Saturday, April 15, 2006

Lent in retrospect

Some years I have a "good" Lent, in that I make plans for the season that I more or less stick to; some years I don't. This was one of the latter. I started moderately well, but fell apart due to a combination of pregnancy and Tevye's medical adventures.

Our successes:
* Angel and Star gave up drinks other than water and sweets and chocolate respectively. I gave up adding salt to my food.
* I managed to get through most of my book of Daily Lenten Meditations from Pope John Paul II.

Our greater and lesser failures:
* Schoolwork fell apart, and our morning prayer routine fell apart with it.
* Our carefully made salt dough Lenten crowns never got lit.
* Our Easter Vigil study never made it past the Liturgy of the Word.
* We didn't get to weekday Mass (I try to get us to at least one extra Mass each week during Lent).
* My attempt to give up complaining was a failure. Not quite an abysmal failure, but close.
* Star and I missed Palm Sunday Mass - I woke up with a raging sore throat and felt so wobbly in the shower that I didn't feel up to staggering further than the sofa. Angel had to go to Mass on her own. What a contrast to last year when I went to a wonderful new rite Latin Mass at the London Oratory with visiting American friends.

What did we learn this year? That sometimes it is enough just to live Lent, even if we don't "do" Lent well. During Lent this year we have relearned the lesson that God is in charge, and that we can trust God to take care of us in ways we would not have imagined. That alone qualifies this one as a "good Lent". Lent is not just about what we do for God, but about recognising what God does for us.

3 comments:

Karen E. said...

This is so true! Coincidentally, I posted the other day about the same idea -- the Lent I planned/what I got .... :-)

coffeemamma said...

"What did we learn this year? That sometimes it is enough just to live Lent, even if we don't "do" Lent well."

You just helped me to see through my guilt. We *did* live Lent, though didn't *do* it well (we're moving, so packing every available minute). Thank you.

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