Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lent - Give up or Take on?

"I gave up coffee creamer for Lent one year.
By the end of the tenth day, I began to love black coffee.
That's the year I learned that it isn't giving up things that counts.
Me? I became aware that only internal change really counts."
Joan Chittister

I have, at this point in my life, stopped giving up things for Lent. Generally not very productive for me and I am not sure of the end result of how it makes me a better person, or enhances my relationship with God. So, I lean towards taking something on. This year, I decided to take an online class Holy Companions, which is studying the Saints from Great Britain during the Dark Ages. I am auditing it.

At this point, I am failing in a sense. I was on track and then a dear friend's daughter was in a freak accident at home, requiring major surgery and colostomy. Pretty big words for a 1st grader, and much to take in when your life changes so quickly. So, my heart and soul have been connected through prayer for the past week. And my heart aches, and my ability to focus has been difficult. So... I am hoping tonight I will be able to post to the group to explain my lack of participation and ask for prayers for this darling child.

However, the failure part is not failure at all. There was a slight detour in my journey to devote to prayer for a family that is near and dear to me. So, I continue on, making slight changes in what my plans were and accommodating some curves along the way.

Lent grabs at me in a way I don't understand. I see that people post they love the journey in Lent and I fight the season. So, I am trying to see it in a more positive light - a journey in which I may grow. Please pray that when Lent comes to a close I can see that maybe, just maybe, I have inched towards seeing it in a more positive light.


  1. Dear one,

    As our teacher for the class posted...there is plenty of time. You are right that you are not failing at the class, and I loved that she said she didn't want us to feel "beset."

    I like to remember that it's called a Lenten "practice." Probably for a reason!

    I don't "give up" either. I'm getting a lot out of the class and also out of the Lenten Carbon Fast that went around FB a while ago. Did you see it?

    I will be praying for this little one with you. And for you as you love and pray for her.

    So glad to see you back on the web!

  2. Cathy, your class sounds interesting and something you can do for you. As you know, I too have my battles with being in the 'middle' of life. Doing something for yourself is most important. You also know I give advice better than follow it!

  3. I am taking an online Lenten Class, and have not been giving it the time and attention I had intended.

    This brings up feelings of failure, self-betrayal and other old (dare I say unhelpful?) feelings ... and I have to remember to breathe, to forgive and as I've learned through Centering Prayer to notice the "distraction" and keep turning back toward God.

    This is a practice that serves me well. MUCH better than the old beat-myself-over-the-head approach.

    Much more loving!

    (For some reason this will only let me post under my Google account - Harumph!)