It is such a blessing to be celebrating Easter and man, what a gorgeous weekend we had here in the 'burgh! It was like a little taste of Heaven if you ask me!
So, a few weeks ago, Mark arrived home from work and was getting his drink ready for dinner and he mumbled "when is Lent going to be over?" I thought he said "when is life going to be over?!" After we cleared up this little misunderstanding and had a good laugh about how much sacrificing really takes out of you, I assured him that there was an end in sight! Mark gave up a few of his most beloved things this Lent and he was really craving some Iced Tea when that remark was made, and while we both do our best to not gripe about how hard it is, this incident was a good lesson for Samantha to witness as she had a tough morning a day or two later.
Lent is tough for us to encourage with Samantha because she changes houses every week and the way we observe Lent is surely different than at her Mom's house. And prior to this year, I really didn't believe that she was mature enough to handle sacrificing something without constant guidance. So this year, she gave up cereal, her preferred breakfast food here at our house and surely a sacrifice for her. Well, about 25 or so days in, I found her at the breakfast table with an almost completely eaten bowl of cereal in front of her. Apparently, the temptation of her favorite cereal in the cupboard had been too much and she decided to eat it. Unfortunately, she tried to cover up her decision with a lie. After a few minutes of talking, she confessed to just wanting cereal and it being "too hard"! I assured her too, that it was supposed to be hard and that her sacrifice needs to be united with Jesus' suffering and that she could offer it up for those who are suffering much more than her (namely her cousin Emeric and his parents).
We had just one other time the devil tempted her to give in and not stay true to her sacrifice, but all in all, I think she really learned some good lessons this Lent. I am hoping that as the years go by, she will grow in holiness and seek out times to suffer willingly so that she can draw closer to God (or while praying for someone else to draw closer).
Personally, I find Lent to be even harder with little ones underfoot. There is less quiet time, and I am the type that NEEDS quiet time to get some good praying in. I rose a bit earlier in the morning so that I could read the readings for the day and a short reflection offered on the app on my phone. This was so fruitful, although sometimes didn't feel like it was enough. I loved staying connected to the Mass even if I couldn't get there everyday. And it NEVER ceases to amaze me how many time Jesus is prophesied in the Old Testament and yet they STILL didn't get that it was Him, when He came! So many were blinded by sin and their own desires and thoughts of how God should be, they couldn't see Him right in front of their faces! I find that this is what Lent is good for. We are so caught up in ourselves and how we think things should be that we don't see Jesus right in front of us, calling us by name as He did to Mary Magdalene at the tomb on Easter morning!
I am very much looking forward to Lents in the future. I love to teach the kids about the Catholic faith. I want it integrated into their everything, their everyday. Their very being. We tried very hard to talk with Juls about what Lent was for and what Easter is all about and she got the gist of it. But the amazing thing is how much Miriam hears and takes in. The other night she was looking at a book and she saw Jesus and she said "Jesus. Jesus Die."
I'll post pictures of Easter Weekend later on...Have a blessed week!