Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lenten Prepartions

Have you, either as a family or as an individual, decided what you will strive to achieve in terms of spiritual growth this Lent? Three days ago we sat down as a family this morning and came up with what one child has termed our Lenten Contract. But as we worked on this spiritual exercise I kept this following quote that was included in Holly Pierlot's workbook from her book; A Mother's Rule of Life.

"We should not want to practice many [spiritual] exercises at the same time or all of a sudden. The enemy often tries to make us attempt and start many projects so that we will be overwhelmed with too many tasks, and therefore achieve nothing and leave everything unfinished. Sometimes he even suggests the wish to undertake some excellent work that he foresees we will never accomplish. This is to distract us from the prosecution of some less excellent work that we would have easily completed. He does not care how many plans and beginnings we make, provided nothing is finished...

St Jerome says "Among Christians it is not so much the beginning as the end that counts."

(St. Francis de Sales, "Finding God's Will for You", New Hampshire, Sophia Institute Press, 1998, p 52-53 )

It can be very tempting to strive so high that you are almost destined to fail. While it is good to have challenging goals, they must be reasonably attainable. I cannot tell you how many Lents we have had goals set too high to accomplish for where we were (spiritually) as a family and so when we kept failing to meet the daily goals set out - we gave up. At the end of Lent we felt more guilt than joy. I am determined that this shall not be the case this year and so we kept revisiting this premise as we set out our family goals.

Finally when we finished we had 4 goals set out. Some will require sacrifice, some are additional activities and they all intertwine nicely with each other. They will not necessarily be easy to achieve but they are attainable - allowing us, as a family and as individuals, to travel further in our spiritual journey.

I pray for a spiritually successful Lent for all of you!


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