06 March 2014

Thoughts on the Lenten Season

I am Catholic. Not because I have a Mexican husband, but because I myself  grew up Catholic. I even attended Catholic school for grades 4-9. I have not always been a perfect Catholic, and half the time I am not even a very good Catholic. I skip Mass, I haven't been to Confession in at least ten years, and Cecilia does not know her Hail Mary's from her Glory Be's. I am in no way a saint, and I in fact, probably am the biggest sinner in the history of the Church (Okay, maybe not the whole HISTORY of the church). I've spent years away from God and the Church, and my life turned out pretty miserable.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do, was admit that I cannot be alone. I am not strong like other women who go on with their lives and raise their children alone. I don't think I was ever meant to be that kind of women. I admire them, but I cannot be like them. Since I cannot have my husband 24/7 with me to help me, I have had to rely on God, the Father to us all. I've found myself coming back to the back pew (in my defense, Isaias screams and freaks out a lot, so we usually need to step out into the crying room). I have found myself plucking at my Rosary beads at night. In fact, I downloaded an app, called Rosario, which I use to help my find my way back into relearning the Apostle's Creed and the Hail Holy Queen.

Now the liturgical season of Lent is upon us. My goal is to make Lent a family affair this year. I want my kids to embrace God and know Him. I want my kids to feel comfortable in church, saying their prayers and knowing the Saints. Traditionally, Lent is a period of 40 days of fasting and abstinence of certain earthly pleasures to bring up closer to God. The 40 days comes from the 40 days that Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert where he was tempted by Lucifer.
This year for Lent, I am giving up yelling at my children, and am resolving to pray with them more and teach them the ways of the Church.
This is BIG for me. This is me, through prayer and the example of Holy Women in history and the Holy Mother, becoming a better wife and mother to my husband and children. I am casting off selfishness and fear, and I am going to be more patient and loving to my family. There is NO WAY I can do this without the help of God.

Other ways that I am involving my children in Lent this year is through building our own Stations of the Cross. I found the images on Pinterest and colored them and cut them out and mounted them on coasters, which I hung on the wall in our hallway. I also found the Gospel reading and prayers that go along with them, which we will be praying on Fridays throughout Lent.
My artistic abilities...

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and I had to work (usually the case). However, my job was so kind as to allow staff to receive ashes with our patients at the Ash Wednesday Service. So many of the staff and I joined in:

Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.
It was a blessing to be able to wear the ashes while working. Usually I'm complaining about my work, but the ashes helped me refocus and realize what a blessing it is to even have a job! In the evening, we attended Mass at our local parish: 
Cecilia was very excited to get her ashes and Isaias was able to sit in the main sanctuary (as opposed to the cry room) for a majority of the Mass. He even kneeled! I'm very excited to see how this Lenten season will bring our family together and closer to God.

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