Lent is upon us. It is my favorite liturgical season because after forty days of fasting, abstinence, and penance, I can approach Easter with a simplified life, clean soul, and joyful spirit. I’ve been thinking about what I need to do to make this Lent solemn and transformative, and here are my Lenten plans for this year:
My personal goals:
- Limit internet time to 1 hour per day (I’ll still be writing blog posts, just not while on the internet - it’s not blogging that takes up so much time, it’s all the other distractions online!)
- Write one letter per day to a friend, family member, to David, or a letter to Lucia in her journal
- Take Lucia to daily Mass at least once a week
Our family goals:
- No sweets. In the past (and probably still in some areas of the world) all Catholics gave up luxury foods, such as butter and sugar, during Lent in order to maintain its austerity. If they could do it, so can we. We tend to have dessert every night, and I imagine we’ll continue to do so, but brownies and ice cream will become fruit and yogurt.
- Say the rosary together every night. We say the rosary together most nights already, but during Lent, I want to make sure we (more like I) don’t make any excuses to skip it.
Solidarity with the Church:
- I won’t be fasting on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday due to breastfeeding, but I will eat only simple meals those days.
- Since I’m already a vegetarian, I will be eating vegan meals (like my vegan coconut corn soup) on Fridays.
Throughout Lent, I’ll also be looking for and recording ideas for celebrating Lent with children. It will still be a few years before I can do much with Lucia, but since I didn’t grow up in a household where liturgical seasons or Church feasts were celebrated, I want to have several ideas stored up to try with our family.
What are your plans for this Lent? What are past sacrifices or additions you’ve made during Lent that you found particularly successful? Have any of them changed your life and your habits in the long term?