Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lenten Plans

Usually I just give up something for Lent. Two years ago I gave up caffeine (that was very hard), last year I gave up chocolate (that was even harder). This year I have decided to give up caffine again for a couple of reasons.

1. I really like coffee, so it's difficult (it's not supposed to be easy)
2. I drink too much coffee
3. I don't drink enough water (not even close)

This year, I wanted to add something as well. I've never done that part before. I have already started going to adoration once a week. I went my first time a few weeks ago. I've got to say, this should be a must for every mother. I had a chance to sit quietly with no distractions for AN ENTIRE HOUR! I said a rosary, and didn't have to chase Fritter around the house as I was doing so. I even got to do a spiritual reading and some meditation, and it was just...beautiful.

After reading this post and this one, I've regained some hope. I have been having some dark days (weeks) lately. But I know now that I am not the only one who struggles through this. From my meditation today...

Spiritual consolations far surpass all worldly enjoyments and bodily pleasures. For all worldly delights are either empty or unclean; but spiritual joys alone are delightful and honest, since they spring from virtue and are instilled by God into a pure soul.
But no persons can enjoy these devout comforts for as long as they wish; for the time of temptation is never long absent.
If you desire to keep the grace of God, be thankful when it is given to you, patient when it is withdrawn. Pray that it may return; be humble and cautious that you do not lose it.
--The Imitation of Christ p. 86-88

Even Saints go through these empty times. It seems strange to me, but I need to just be thankful to God for even this time of darkness and separation, and hope and strive to return to His loving arms. Because these dark times are when I turn to Him the most. He alone knows what I need for salvation. I need to want His will, whatever that may entail.

In light of this, I have decided to add another day of Mass to our week. We already go on Sunday (obviously) and Tuesday, for Lent I am adding Friday as well. Also, I have been slacking on going to spiritual direction monthly, so I schedualed an appointment for that this Tuesday (appropriate before Ash Wednesday).

As for our family plans, I have decided to plan a Lenten menu, and another for Holy Week. Here is our Lent menu cycle.

Menu 1
Monday -- Chilidogs, peas and carrots
Tuesday -- Italian Chicken, Ruthie Potatoes, Broccoli
Wednesday -- Meatloaf, Mac and Cheese, Peas
Thursday -- Leftovers
Friday -- Baked Fish w/ Mushroom Sauce, Rolls, Peas
Saturday -- Leftovers
Sunday -- Swiss Chicken, Rolls, Broccoli

Menu 2
Monday -- Ham and Potato Casserole, Broccoli
Tuesday -- White Chicken Chili, Rolls, Peas
Wednesday -- Baked Ziti, Bread, Peas
Thursday -- Leftovers
Friday -- Vegetarian Vegetable Soup, Breadsticks
Saturday -- Leftovers
Sunday -- Mozz. Parm. Chicken, Rolls, Peas

Menu 3
Monday -- Green Chili Burrito Bake, Cinnamon Tortilla Crisps
Tuesday -- Chicken Noodle Soup, Breadsticks
Wednesday -- Spaghetti, Broccoli, Bread
Thursday -- Leftovers
Friday -- Linguini w/ Veggies & Sauce, Bread
Saturday -- Leftovers
Sunday -- Crockpot Pork Chops, Ruthie Potatoes, Rolls

And this is my Holy Week Menu. I got these ideas from Catholic Culture, and for each day that has something special, I am including a link to that particular site, where you can learn about what each of the foods mean or portray.

Holy Week Menu
Sunday -- Split Pea Soup, Breadsticks, Fig Swirl
Monday -- Manwich, Corn
Tuesday -- Tacos
Wednesday -- Leftovers
Thursday -- Lamb Chops, Unleavened Bread, Apple Nut Cinnamon Spread, Spinach, Radishes, Lamb Cake, Grape Juice
Friday -- Fast & Abstinence
Saturday -- Leftovers (saving the feast for Easter Sunday)

Here is the recipes link for everything. Some of the recipes for the Holy Week Menu are taken from Catholic Culture.

So what are your plans for Lent?

*PS- My spell checker is not working, so sorry if this post has some errors. I'll try and fix it later.*


Michelle said...

I'm giving up the good, expensive coffee I usually drink. And reducing time on the computer.

Kristen M. said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog this week.

Cmerie said...

What kind of coffee is it? (Sounds yummy). Reducing time on the computer would be very hard for me. Thanks for letting me know!

God bless!

MCHesser said...

This year I gave up using the "f" word, my favorite. O decided I'd pray a Hail Mary every time I forgot and said it anyway.
As you can imagine,I prayed continuously the first week. The second week, I arched myself and said it less, so I decided to say 2 HMs when I said the word and only one when I thought it. I prayed continuously for the rest of Lent.
I think I broke the habit because I hardly say it and rarely think it. But I still find myself praying rather continuously.