Tuesday, February 25, 2014
A Lenten plan for 2014, because I would not be your Catholic Librarian without A PLAN
Good day all! I'm enjoying my 7 posts in 7 days antics and writing all about Lent this week, in conjunction with my fabulous friend Cristina, as a preparation for the big kickoff next Wednesday. :) I posted yesterday about some reflections going into Lent 2014, based upon Cristina's post on the pillars of Lent. Today I wanted to write about how I'm planning to actually implement my thoughts into a Lenten plan for this year.
This is always a big "thing" for me each year. I look forward to Lent, because I like structure. It is true, spontaneity has never been an enjoyable part of my life. :0 And so I always approach Lent with a lot of seriousness, enjoying the planning process. And Lent really does *require* a plan of some sort if you are going to glean anything of significance from it. Enforced structure, that is my kind of living, people! And so, what am I going to do? I knew I was going to post about this, so I spent a lot of time last night and this morning thinking this over.
Here we go:
(1) Prayer - I have slacked off on my Magnificat morning and evening prayers. In January, I was doing the Marian consecration readings, and adding anything else into the daily prayer routine was too overwhelming with my work and home schedule. I long to get back to that, and Lent is the perfect opportunity. I want to pray those seven days a week. I'm also going to be using Sacred Spaces for Lent 2014 as a daily source of short readings and prayers. Gifted to me by Cristina! :) Download it for Kindle for a mere 99 cents!
I'd also like to fine tune my daily rosary praying. I often pray the first three mysteries in the morning on my way to work, and then never complete that rosary. I know any prayer and meditation is a good thing, but my goal is to complete the rosary on my way home each work day.
(2) Almsgiving - I have been on the lookout for quite some for a volunteer opportunity at my parish, ever since I discontinued participating in the Children's Liturgy of the Word program, and I will step up my efforts this Lent. If I see something, I will push myself to do it, even if ordinarily I may find a reason why it's not the *perfect* opportunity. That old "social anxiety" thing rearing its ugly head again. I may have to actually *talk* to people I do not know, I will have to get over this. :0 I would really like to give of my time in this way.
(3) Penance - After lunch and dinner each day, I always add a small "sweet bite" to my meal. I do have a sweet tooth, and while I try not to indulge it too much, I will usually have a small chocolate or cookie just to satisfy that sweet craving when I finish eating a meal. I am going to give that up for Lent. It's a small thing, but one that I will really notice and it will remind me that we are in Lent and reflecting on our Lord's sacrifices for us.
I'd also like to get to confession at least once during Lent. It's quite humbling to admit how long it's been since I was last at confession. I believe it was back in the fall, but at any rate, *too long*, especially since I cannot remember exactly when it was! Never a good sign.
(4) Fasting and Abstinence - I'll be doing as the Church prescribes, fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstaining from meat on all Fridays during Lent.
(5) Spiritual Reading - I don't have anything specific set aside, but I will make a commitment to keep up with spiritual reading in addition to the fiction I enjoy. I'll have finished the March book for the Catholic Book Club (which is quite fascinating, by the way, "Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns") before Ash Wednesday, so I'll work on April's selection, "More Catholic Than the Pope: An Inside Look at Extreme Traditionalism," as well as anything else I have time for. I'll post a review if I do complete another Catholic book prior to Easter.
And so, there you have it! It's not overly ambitious, but in my estimation, that is as it should be. I can see myself sticking with this plan throughout Lent, and it includes several good spiritual habits that I would like to nurture and incorporate into my daily routine, even after Easter.
This is my plan for Lent this year? What is yours?! Leave me a comment, because I'm dying to know!! And also, Cristina is posting about her plan for Lent 2014 today, check it out here!
See you all tomorrow. :) I have a Catholic Nook post planned, ooohhhhhh...
I’m writing seven posts in seven days this week. To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.