Saturday, January 10, 2015

What This Year’s Early Ash Wednesday Means to Me

This year, Ash Wednesday is very early - February 18. 

That’s just 4 days after Valentine’s Day. Because I traditionally give up chocolate during Lent, except for a mini-York patty before bed, the post-Valentine’s Day candy sales will affect me strongly. I surely do love my chocolate. I have always been successful in doing without it (except for that itty bitty mint patty at night) throughout Lent. I might still get some candy at those sales but I will need to immediately stash it out of sight. It will keep.

It’s not that I am compelled to give it up for Lent. It’s just that I like to do that. Even as a little girl, I loved proving to myself and the Lord that I could do something for him. Once, when I was still a very heavy coffee drinker, I tried to give that up. It didn’t work. Now it wouldn’t even be a sacrifice worth considering because I rarely drink more than a cup a day, if that. But chocolate - well, giving up the amount I normally consume definitely is a sacrifice, for me.

That said, and figured out, and settled, in my mind, I will begin to look at little Lenten and Easter DIY projects. I have saved and “pinned” quite a few projects on my Pinterest boards, here at this link. And I only do that with quick and easy projects - at 75, I’ve wised up a little.

I love the idea of Lent.

I love reading little pamphlets I’ve saved through the years. Or reading the emails I subscribe to. I love thinking about those days and what Jesus did for me, for us. I also know myself. I would have been no better than Peter back in those days. I would not have been strong enough to face the crowds and admit I knew him. So I try in other ways to prove how much his sacrifice means to me. Brief meditations and readings help keep me focused and on track.

Sweet Lord Jesus, how easily we let the world and its issues distract us from what you did for us. Help me, please, to focus on you this coming Lenten season. I know I should focus on you, your teachings, your love, more often than that. But Lent helps me to at least do it during those holy weeks. Thank you for your sacrifice; help me to be worthy of your love.       

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