LENT – A Time to Fast, A Time to Grow
Here we are. Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras, the Eve of Lent…the day before our 40 day journey leading up to Easter. Another season to grow closer to Jesus, to unite ourselves with His 40 days in the desert and to think about our purpose just as Jesus thought about His purpose. This purpose is God’s purpose for our lives and how He wants to use us. These next 40 days are a time to let go of our own selfish desires that have taken control of our lives, and a time to renew ourselves by immersing ourselves in God. God is calling each of us to do something different yet personal during this season of Lent.
Lent is a Time to Fast. By fasting I unite myself with Jesus’ fast in the desert for 40 days, which gives me focus. By fasting from food I grow in self control and win a small battle against Satan thereby growing stronger. By fasting I feel better about myself and regain my health. My mid-winter glumness lifts. Instead of just fasting from food, I take this time to do a cleanse and rid my body of all those toxins that have accumulated from my poor eating choices over the winter months. I look forward to this time because it gives me the extra motivation in these areas that I otherwise lack.
Lent is a Time to Grow. More than a time to fast, Lent is a time to grow. Each year God calls me to grow in a different way. This year I am being called to immerse myself in His Word. I need to read the bible every day, most specifically the gospels during these upcoming 40 days. The gospels are Christ’s own teachings for His people, a guidebook on how we are to live our lives. My plan is to read the gospel of Mark a chapter at a time. I will use the ABC Bible Sharing method, even by myself. Usually I do this by reading through the chapter 3 times – the first time as a story, the second time getting a general sense of what Jesus was trying to accomplish (and coming up with A – A TITLE). I then take time to meditate on what I have read and see what God is saying to ME through the scripture so that it becomes real to me in my life right now. When I read it a third time I can choose a B – BEST VERSE and finally a C – CHALLENGE VERSE. This challenge verse is a specific way God is calling me to live out a part of what I read. When I do this with my younger kids, we read through the chapter together, discuss it and come up with our BEST VERSES before they head to their rooms to choose their own CHALLENGE VERSE.
Of course, as a family during Lent we will do our SACRIFICE BEANS, pray our family rosary, attend mass on Wednesdays and Sundays, go to adoration on the first Friday of the month and fast from meat on Fridays (recipes ideas here) as well as study the Gospel of Mark and fast from our favourite foods every day.