Keeping the Love in Lent





As a child, I used to dread Lent. I'd spend the weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday stressing over what I would give up. It was a ritualistic, self-imposed spiritual insecurity. Lent was a time of best behavior, it was a time of sacrifice. It was a time of acknowledging that I could be better for the other 320 or so days and chose not to. Waves of that familiar Catholic guilt would overwhelm me until I settled on something I thought was worthy. And then I'd give up chocolate, or candy, or TV time. And for forty days I would suffer through less sugar and more time reading, only to binge on Easter candy and movie marathons, not really understanding what Lent could mean.

Because Lent can be so much more.  At it's core, Lent is about love. That's the message that Christ gave us, during His life. It's why He stretched out His arms and died on a cross, because He loves us so completely that He would die so that we might live again. Lent is our opportunity to live that love, it's a spring board into deeper holiness and deeper understanding of our faith, not just for forty days, but for the rest of our lives.

Two years ago, I prayed a daily rosary for Lent and witnessed firsthand the healing power of prayer-- not just for myself, but for those around me. Last year, I said yes and did some of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done. This year, as I prepare for the birth of my second son, I'm focusing on small things. I'm making the bed, every single day. If you know me, you know that this might be one of the most difficult things that I could do. And yet this small gesture, this small moment of love will bring joy. I'm limiting my social media time-- not stopping completely, but being more conscious of the time I spend and finding better ways to use that time. And I will be attending daily mass at least once a week. Little things, that can yield a great impact.

I won't be changing the world. I won't be moving mountains or rewriting the the history of mankind. But I will be learning, shutting down distractions and opening myself up to God. And I won't stop there. I want to live Lent, all year. I want Lent to be a stepping stone into greater faith, to deeper sacrifice. I want to keep the love in Lent. Not just for me, not just for my family, but for the whole world. I want to be Holy, Lord, for You.


How are you keeping the love in Lent?



Tina at Truly Rich Mom

24 comments:

  1. What a beatifully written tale of love, so perfectly illustrated by your words!

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  2. I've never kept Lent, but I totally understand the concept of self-denial because of love. Jesus denied his comfort and sovereignty to come hang out with a bunch of narrow-minded yahoos so he could teach us about love. So maybe this year, I'll 'keep Lent' by loving more and stressing less about how other people's actions might affect me--because it's not about me. It's about HIM.

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  3. Kirsten OliphantMarch 5, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    I'm about to post on Lent! I think a lot of times in the Protestant church, people don't "do" Lent because it's a "Catholic" thing. Like there needs to be some kind of distinction between the two. I mean, there are lots of differences, but Lent doesn't have to be one. In any case, I'm doing and taking away and will be writing on the blog about it. :)

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  4. I like the story... it's like one of those moments that you know is going to be significant as you're living it.

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  5. Intense and full of emotions-well done!

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  6. Very beautiful....I felt like there could be more!

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  7. How enticing and intriguing. Everything seems to hint at some hidden meaning and I'm left with no answers at all. Nevertheless, it's a lovely, dreamy piece. Well done.

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  8. Fascinating premise and really interesting characters. I would love to see more of this. Love the way you used the prompts! :)

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  9. This has a lovely, dreamy quality to it, and a familiar feeling. You describe this sense of taking a leap just perfectly.

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  10. The Forgetful GeniusMarch 6, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    WOW!! LOVED LOVED LOVED the 2nd to last paragraph -- "There are moments in our lives..." I want to make that into a viral piece and send it EVERYWHERE!

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  11. <3 Ahhh thank you so much!

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  12. Thank you :)

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  13. I'm debating on whether or not I want to continue it. It was really fun to write :)

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  14. Thank you Suzanne! I think I might expand it, the premise offered by the prompt was really intriguing.

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  15. " It was like breathing underwater and flying and learning how to be a person all at once "

    that's hell true n it is just amazing story =) (Y)

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  16. I've never observed Lent before, but this year I'm doing a study on Kris Camealy's book "Holey, Wholly, Holy." Three days in, and I can already tell you that Lent will now become a yearly event for me. I love having this time of special focus on Christ. This study is bringing me to my knees before God, realizing the depths of grace.

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  17. Thank You Megan,
    I am a convert to Catholicism, I love the traditions of Lent each year I am able to embrace my relationship with my Lord Christ a little deeper. Such as Stations of the Cross.
    Blessed Lenten Season

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  18. What a lovely way to frame Lent--with Love. So glad you shared this today, Megan.

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  19. I can relate to both your experience of Lent as child and your new understanding of Lent as an adult, especially the desire to live Lent all year. As a new parent, I'm looking forward to helping my son focus on the love in Lent.

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  20. Thanks for your post, very genuine and real. The Keep Love in Lent and reading all the blogs are amazing. Finding lots of folks on all ends of the spectrum. The little acts of kindness, even making the bed can come from a place of love. Thanks.
    Peggy www.creatingspaceinyourlife.com

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  21. So inspiring. Many of our Lenten habits have extended to daily life. And I love your picture by the way.

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