Two days into being home from the hospital, I did not kick off Lent this year with Ash Wednesday Mass. Instead, Dave woke up early, grabbed the bag of Cheerios I had packed as an on-the-go breakfast for Charlie, and headed out to Mass just the two of them while Azelie and I snuck in a little extra sleep. Throughout the day, I ate normal (albeit meatless) meals and plenty of snacks, while trying not to do so right in front of my parents or Dave, who were fasting. And honestly, it was strange. I don’t even remember the last Ash Wednesday I spent without a smear of ashes across my forehead, having been solemnly reminded that to dust I will return. It was only the first of many ways I know that this Lent will look different for me.
I shared a few thoughts on approaching Lent during a season of transition on Blessed Is She last week, but wanted to add a few more specifics about exactly what I’m doing/hoping to do for Lent here as well. Whether you’re in the fourth trimester alongside me or another season that demands a lot or that you have little control over, I hope it helps spark some ideas. I’m eager to hear yours as well!
1. Fast from meat on Fridays.
2. Deny myself one small “pleasure” daily (maybe dessert, coffee creamer, time on social media, etc.).
3. Pray the rosary daily.
4. Cultivate the habit of praying “Come, Holy Spirit” or “Jesus, I trust in you” before speaking/acting in moments of stress, overwhelm, or frustration. I think this will be the hardest to remember, but I hope the most impactful, and something I can take beyond Lent as well.
5. Attend Stations of the Cross at church once.
6. Attend the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday.