Monday, February 8, 2010

I hereby resolve, with the help of Your grace...

Lent is fast approaching and if you're anything like me, you did a double-take just now when you realized it. Rather than waking up on Ash Wednesday in a panic because you still don't know what you're giving up this Lent, let's help each other out a little. Leave a comment related to your (or someone else's) resolutions. What are you giving up this year? What's the most creative thing you've ever heard of someone doing for Lent?

As incentive, one commenter - chosen randomly - will win a copy of The Gift of the Cross: Lenten Reflections in the Holy Cross Tradition. So comment away - let's help each other out. Just be sure you chime in before Wednesday at 11:59 pm.



15 comments:

Margaret Mary said...

Remembering my new year’s resolution to try and achieve more balance in my life, I’ve created a little checklist for each day of Lent. I’m still working on it, but as of today the categories are pray, clean something, write something, read something, plan dinner (the key word here is plan and not wait-until-4:30-and-then-panic), exercise, work (my PT job involves independent work with few deadlines), and daily work on an annual project of mine that goes through all of Lent and up to Memorial Day. I know myself well enough to know I can get a ton of stuff done each day if I have a list, but I get easily distracted and would be just as happy if I spent all day on just one of these items. Yes, even cleaning.

I'll likely add some weekday Masses, etc. also, but the Holy Spirit is whispering "self discipline" in my ear. :)

Claire Christina said...

Balance is a theme in my life, too. I like to give up a few small things each year and add on a few small things (because people always ask what you're giving up, but sacrificing something in secret is so efficacious). Last year I gave up sweets and comfortable shoes (among other things), and prayed a rosary each day.

This year I'm giving up hats (the new joy of my wardrobe) and munching between meals (save at parties, where it would be rude), and working to memorize the seven penitential psalms (6,32,38,51,102,130,143). Oh, and cutting down on the already excessive amount of time I spend on the internet. :)

Carmela James said...

This year I am trying to do the Total Consecration to the Virgin Mary for Lent.

In the past, I have started wearing a veil to Mass for Lent (something I never gave up in the end), started a daily prayer schedule/added to it, and attempted to dress very conservatively and cover my head every day.

I once had a friend give up the Internet for Lent, except for when it was required to complete her schoolwork. That was amazing.

Courtney said...

I'm having trouble deciding what to give up for Lent this year. Last year I gave up listening to or watching anything that involved politics. I wasn't quite sure why when I chose that, but I realized afterward how much that stuff brings out the worst in me, and how going without it helped me refocus on God.

I do like the idea of memorizing the penitential psalms, though. I may adopt that as part of my Lenten activities this year. :)

Lucy said...

I'm giving up Ravelry and Etsy...and, after hearing a sermon on Sunday about tackling the defects of one's temperament, I'm giving up offering my unsolicited opinion at work and at my chapel. If someone asks my opinion directly, of course, I'll give it, but otherwise - no interjections!

Lucy said...

(Lucy the Church Lady here)

-give up Ravelry and Facebook
-knit 2 charity afghans
-Meatless Wednesdays and Fridays

Molly Koop said...

So many creative ideas! I had a friend who gave up his snooze button one year. A little random, but apparently a lot of his day was wasting away between snoozes.
The first Lent we were married, we gave up eating out. We didn't eat out too terribly much, but just this one resolution helped us to plan better in so many ways...financially of course, but we always packed meals if we knew we'd be gone all day. And if we ended up out longer than we had planned, it was a great chance for a fast!
I really like Margaret Mary's list idea. And I love the idea about memorizing the psalms. I guess I had better make a decision pretty soon.

Margaret Mary said...

I thought of another idea I've had but never acted on...
Ahead of time, come up with a list of 40 categories in my life (each family member, home, job, church, my priest, individual friends, etc.) and assign a day to each. On that day, I'd to write down at least ten reasons why I'm thankful for him/her/it. Of course this would involve purchasing some kind of cute journal, but I could probably do that. ;-)

This would be a great annual exercise for me.

Gianna said...

Last year my roommate wrote an anonymous note to a different person each day telling them why she admired them. I thought it was a really nice idea (and it took me a few weeks to figure out who had sent it).

(don't worry - I'm not throwing myself in the running for the book ;-)

Daniela said...

Fasting according to monastic rules for the right intention and reading the Orthodox book "Encountering the Mystery."

Jen D said...

I am giving up listening to music. I find that the time I spend commuting in my car, as well as the time I spend on chores in my apartment, is much more conducive to reflection and prayer when my ears are not full of music. Someone above mentioned addressing defects in temperament, and I think this may go a long way for me because as a sanguine I am prone to easy distraction and find deep reflection difficult.

Roisin said...

I am going to give up alcohol (except St. Patrick's Day...I think I'd be disowned if I tried that), and instead give that money to Catholic Relief Services.

I am also going to try and set aside time each day for prayer. I usually try to say my rosary before bed, but always end up falling asleep half way through it.

And finally, I'd like to read a book or two with a Lenten theme. I did this a few years ago and it was a great experience.

joyfulpapist said...

Prayer: vespers from the divine office with my husband, setting a time for the rosary every day and scheduling it in my appointment calendar instead of trying to fit it in wherever and usually ending up shy a few decades, weekday Mass at least Wednesday and Friday

Fasting: no coffee, sweets or between meal snacks and less at meals - kind of combining Lent with the diet I should be eating. Sigh. And simple meals on Fridays. No gossip and no nagging. Hopefully it will become a habit. I gave up television one year, and ever since have watched very rarely.

Almsgiving: the money I save from fasting to go to Caritas - our Catholic Relief equivalent.

Francesca Pio said...

Such good ideas! And I completely agree with Claire Christina about giving up more than one thing so some can be secret.

I'm still not entirely sure what I'll be giving up this Lent, but I'm thinking something having to do with the theme of prioritizing my time. Instead of checking my Facebook page 5 (or 6 or 7...) times a day, perhaps I could just check it once in the evening; instead of bumming around all day and procrastinating, I could get things (esp. homework) done in a timely manner; instead of waiting until I'm too tired to pray at night, I could make sure that I've set aside a respectable amount of time for it before I fall asleep. Last Lent (in order to break my bad habit) I gave up chewing ice. Strangely, that was one of the hardest things I've ever given up!

Anyway, I'm glad I still have a week to think about it! :)

Megan said...

I haven't decided yet, but will be asking my husband what he thinks.