Following Jesus in the the Desert – Lent 2016 – Week One

February 11, 2016 § Leave a comment

christ in the wilderness.png

Christ in the Wilderness – Briton Riviere

A friend once asked me why I “do Lent”  when it isn’t in the Bible.   Sailing right by the fact that there  are many things that Christians do that really aren’t in the Bible, a bunch of things we don’t do that are in the Bible and Catholics don’t really hold to the idea that the Bible spells out all we need to do.  (Note that Christ specifically commissions Peter to build his Church, but there is no where in the Bible where he mentions collecting the letters of his followers and using this scripture in addition to the Old Testament scriptures that He himself had)  But the question about Lent still left me scratching my head.   This friend celebrated Christmas and Easter as “Bible based”  but missed that Jesus is often described as drawing away for a time for prayer and specifically in Mathew 4:1-11  his journey into the desert for 40 days is described.   I am pretty sure if you are following the Magi and giving gifts on Christmas and marking that Biblical you will have a hard time chiding me as non-biblical for making small sacrifices in immitation of Jesus’ great fast.

As Catholics much of what we do is the living action of liturgy to keep us ever immersed in liturgy.  Most of us aren’t going to drop everything and follow Christ into the desert like the Desert Fathers and Desert Mothers or take on the rigorous Asceticism of some of out Saints, but we can follow them in small ways within our own gardens.

So Lent brings us to our own desert.  This year for me I am starting out rather badly as I have spent the last day and a half in bed and my car is in the shop.   As a family we have given up TV and the children were remarkably on board with that.   We are doing our 40 bags.

small and hidden

March 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

When I was in Vienna I spent a day just going into churches.  This was before my conversion to the Catholic faith, but I love these huge beautiful churches.  In one church I was walking through admiring all  the beautiful work and in one corner, behind a pillar where few if any people would ever see, was the most delicately painted angel – small and hidden.  Who knows who painted this little master piece, some unknown apprentice – but the love of the artist gleamed through this little angel’s face.  It reflected not just the talent of the artist but the love of God which fired the heart and created art.

I saw this video for the first time today and obviously it resonated with me.  I couldn’t help be draw the parallel with St. Therese and her “little way” of Mother Theresa’s thoughts on the importance of doing small things with great love. It seems a perfect thing to share for Lent.

Two kinds of Lent

March 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

I seem to have two kinds of Lent.  The first is that kind of Lent where I do Lent.  I think a bit before hand, I give up something that is difficult, but not overwhelming.  I read more, I pray more, I attend mass regularly and it is really a good experience – I am richer for it by the end.  I feel closer to God on Easter and life is good.  That is not the kind of Lent I am having this year.

This year Lent is one of those that happens to me.   I don’t feel quite prepared in the first place and then it just sort of happens.   Sad things happen, tragic things even.  Or good things happen but they bring their own basket of stress and worry.  There is beauty and joy — warmer days, blossoming trees, good friends, happy children, and life and spring, but the on the balance it feels hard.   Then Easter comes and it feels different.  It is a finish line;  it is a door to walk through and leave Lent behind.  I find myself closer to God because I have needed him so much and life is precious.  That is  the Lent we are having this year.

40 Trash Bag Challenge — Day 13

March 10, 2009 § 1 Comment

40trashbags

Today is Tuesday,  March 10, 2009

This is the thirteenth day of the 2009 40 trash bag challenge.  The challenge is an  opportunity to remove the excess clutter and “stuff” from our lives.  The excess can be given away, sold, donated or trashed.   The first goal is to let go; the second goal is to bless others.

Today I am going through the dishes and the knickknacks.  So many things end up in our homes, souveniers, gifts, things we picked up here and there that serve no purpose, are not enjoyed and are just around because we haven’t gotten to the point where we are ready to let them go.  Today is a day to let go, let those things we care little for go to some charity we value so that they may bless others.

Today’s Scripture Reading

Quote for the day: “Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?” – St. Gerard Majella

Reading poems from “A Child’s Garden of Verse“.

Craft: We are working on our eggs.

Lap book page: Poland and Lithuania packet.  St Casmir,  maps, coloring page. (this will span over for several days.  This will be our last day on this.

Other great ideas: (if you stumble on something that should be linked here please comment or send me the link)

Jesus Tree

A Meaningful Lent

40 Trash Bag Challenge — Day 12

March 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

40trashbags

Today is Monday,  March 9, 2009

This is the twelth day of the 2009 40 trash bag challenge.  The challenge is an  opportunity to remove the excess clutter and “stuff” from our lives.  The excess can be given away, sold, donated or trashed.   The first goal is to let go; the second goal is to bless others.

Today’s  bag of stuff for our family will come from the laundry room -again.  This seems to be the room where everything ends up that doesn’t have a “real” home.

Today is a busy day for us with homeschool enrichment and CCD this afternoon.

Today’s Scripture Reading

Quote for the day: “Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back. – G. K. Chesterton

Reading poems from “A Child’s Garden of Verse“.

Craft: None for today

Lap book page: Poland and Lithuania packet.  St Casmir,  maps, coloring page. (this will span over for several days.

Other great ideas: (if you stumble on something that should be linked here please comment or send me the link)

Jesus Tree

A Meaningful Lent

40 Trash Bag Challenge — Day 10

March 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

40trashbags

Today is Friday,  March 6, 2009

This is the tenth day of the 2009 40 trash bag challenge.  The challenge is an  opportunity to remove the excess clutter and “stuff” from our lives.  The excess can be given away, sold, donated or trashed.   The first goal is to let go; the second goal is to bless others.

Today’s  bag of stuff for our family will come from the laundry room.  This seems to be the room where everything ends up that doesn’t have a “real” home.

We had Little Flowers today so we are having to do more of our serious study this afternoon which is competing with a very sunny day.  The yard work might win “Oro et Laboro” can be our moto for the day.

Today’s Scripture Reading

Quote for the day: “It is better to say one Our Father fervently and devoutly than a thousand with no devotion and full of distraction.” – St. Edmund

Reading poems from “A Child’s Garden of Verse“.

Craftpisanki for kids  (this will take about three days).

Lap book page: Poland and Lithuania packet.  St Casmir,  maps, coloring page. (this will span over for several days.

Other great ideas: (if you stumble on something that should be linked here please comment or send me the link)

Jesus Tree

A Meaningful Lent

40 Trash Bag Challenge — Day 9

March 5, 2009 § Leave a comment

40trashbags

Today is Thursday,  March 5, 2009

This is the ninth day of the 2009 40 trash bag challenge.  The challenge is an  opportunity to remove the excess clutter and “stuff” from our lives.  The excess can be given away, sold, donated or trashed.   The first goal is to let go; the second goal is to bless others.

Today’s  bag of stuff for our family will come from the office.  This is a clutter day for me – while I would love to be able to bless someone else with each bag, that isn’t possible.  I am going through my files culling out old and outdated information (that lease agreement form 1994 is NOT going to be needed again) and tossing them.

I suppose in a way this sort of thing helps others, mostly my family, but also those I have made commitments to.  I am one of those people who end up with piles and piles of semi-important papers because I am afraid to let anything go until I have thought about it.  But my procrastination lets things accumulate as I put off thinking about them.  Then I have clutter.  Lent is a good time to look at those problems we face with a critical eye,   How is this helping my walk with Christ, or is it hindering me.  Not dealing with semi-important things in a timely manner hurts.  It hurts my peace, my real life friendships and my spiritual progression.

We are missed starting talking about St Casimir yesterday so we are catching that today along with this fine Saint we are looking at Lithuania and Poland, especially their Easter traditions.

Today’s Scripture Reading

Quote for the day: First, do what is necessary. Next, do what is possible. Soon, you will find you are doing the impossible!”  –  St. Francis of Assisi

Reading about Saint Casimir.

Craftpisanki for kids  (this will take about three days).

Lap book page: Poland and Lithuania packet.  St Casmir,  maps, coloring page. (this will span over for several days.

Other great ideas: (if you stumble on something that should be linked here please comment or send me the link)

Jesus Tree

A Meaningful Lent

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