Monday, February 8, 2010

Preparing for Lent

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted...busy, busy, busy :) Okay, enough of that...

So, preparing for Lent...
That's what I said; Lent. I know...'Lent already?!! I thought it was still Christmas...' Then the dreaded feeling comes over you...right?
I won't lie; I kinda feel the same too. Kinda sad...that time goes by waaay too fast. Then you'd have to think of your Lenten Resolutions. You're either excited, or not so excited.
Now, don't go thinking that when you fast, you're aiming to lose weight. Think, are you thinking of the benefit of your body, or your soul? Hmm...
Okay, moving on. We're thinking about preparing for Lent. Just as we are to be prepared for Holy Week, Easter, Christmas, and all that, I think it's a good idea to prepare for Lent as well. Lent can be the hardest. Advent is different. Advent seems 'happy-ish' and exciting. Even people outside of Church are preparing and celebrating Christmas along with you. ...What about Lent? Nu-uh. Is there a not-so exciting feeling...?'d probably really really want to lose that, and face Lent with a prayerful attitude.
Try to get past that feeling. Just as you try to get past that feeling of stress during the Advent time when you're thinking about your route of shopping stores to use your coupons.

Anyway, here's what I would suggest to prepare yourself for Lent.
-Go to confession. Yes, I know. You will already eventually go to confession before holy week, but not before Lent. Try it. Try going before Lent, just to prepare yourself. You know that feeling after receiving the Sacrament of Penance, you can finally breathe again? Why not?
-Adoration. At a nearby Church or Chapel, ask Jesus to be with you during this upcoming Lenten Season. Ask him to be with you during tough times. Jesus has been with you through joy and sorrow, why won't you be with HIM from the joyful celebration to the celebration of his death? You've got to follow Him through it all!! :D And even if the visit is just for five minutes...Jesus cherishes every moment with you.
-Plan to attend Daily Mass. Now, my family and I have attended daily Mass for almost 6 years straight. You know how that started? Lent. One day, Mom came to us and suggested Daily Mass as to be part of our Lenten Schedule. At first, we were all, 'eeehh...okay...' And somehow, even after Lent, we kept going because we all fell in love with the Eucharist. Okay, even if you can't get past the hour on Sunday (Homily is too long and I almost fell asleep, terrible parking XP) don't forget that the Eucharist is food for the SOUL. There's a banquet, or a party everyday at Jesus' house. You're always invited, but who likes an invited visitor who just dwadles around in the house as if they were forced to attend?
-Bring a missal/Magnificat to Mass. Now THAT always helps if your mind always wanders off during the Readings. I think most of us have a tendency to immediately forget the 1st Reading. And then during the 2nd, we think random thoughts like, 'Boy, St. Paul can really think of long sentences.' To prevent that, look up on EWTN or another Catholic website that provide the Readings for every Mass. Read and reflect on those readings, so that the next day at Mass (no I'm not going to say you're free to wander off) you are fully prepared.
-Pray the Rosary and/or Divine Chaplet. Or any other prayers you'd like to say. Rosary is on top of the list. :) While praying, try playing a soft and gentle meditation hymn (no words, just music) so that your mind isn't somewhere else and your lips are just opening and closing... Imagine the scenes in your head too. Imagine that you are there when Jesus was in the Temple preaching and his parents rush forward to take him home, or pretend you are one of the Diciples of Jesus and you are listening to his Word, or pretend you are one of the onlookers as Jesus passes by with the Cross in his arms.
-Pray a novena to a favorite saint.

That's all I have for today, (no, you're supposed to do that during Lent too, not just before :P) but if you have any more suggestions, feel free to comment.

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