Saturday, March 1, 2014


Well, Lent is quickly descending upon us. 4 days and counting.

I've been hesitant to declare what I'm doing for Lent. It never fails that no matter what I intend to do, there is some days or weeks in the beginning of Lent that are just penitential in and of themselves, such that I lapse on my intended offerings and declare myself a failure. Highly unhelpful.

Last year I simply let Lent begin and let God choose my offerings. With 5 kids 7 and under, it worked pretty well. This year I'm doing the same thing and He is already answering me in unexpected but fruitful ways. 

That said though, I have a few other things I do want to do. 

First, I signed up to receive Fr. Barron's Lenten emails. I love listening to Fr. Barron. If you haven't signed up, I highly recommend it. It is a simple email each day and I've yet to not enjoy hearing what Fr. Barron has to say. 

Second, last year, Cecilia begged to be taken to mass on Ash Wednesday and my dad obliged to taking her. She loved it! This year, unlike last, James isn't teaching all day so it wouldn't just be me with 5 kids at Mass. So I want to get at least one adult and 3 kids if not all of us at Mass on Ash Wednesday.

Third, a few years ago, back in 2010, I borrowed an idea from Tracy at Pinewood Castle to build a path to Calvary. I liked how it went and know the girls will love the opportunity to do it again. I still have the pieces I cut out 4 years ago:
So we are going to do it again this year as we journey to Easter.... though I might need another birthday cake this time around. :)

Fourth, I do want to pick up some Lenten reading. Now, I don't get to read as much as I used to, much to my dismay, so I don't want to be overzealous (like the year I thought I could finish Weigel's biography of JP II by Easter and it took me until Pentecost) but I did begin Fr. Jacques Philippe's Searching for and Maintaining Peace last month and haven't finished. It isn't a long book, so I should be able to read more and St. Catherine's Dialogue has been sitting on my desk a while, so I plan to pick that up and start it during Lent... not necessarily expecting to finish it before Easter though... it will depend.

Finally and fifth, I do want to do something with the kids and it is here I'm having trouble. I thought about, and might still choose to, reinstitute our daily praying of the rosary. They aren't ecstatic about the idea but I don't have any others they are more excited about. Another possibility is doing a Stations of the Cross each week as they have very little experience with it as a devotion but I've never done it at home and am not sure what the best way would be to really get them into it while doing it at home. Anything involving sharp toothpicks, glass or fire is really not a good idea within 3 miles of Teresa. :)

One friend on Facebook had this great suggestion: "If you are wondering what penance to take up [this] Lent, I suggest this one: try to be joyful, happy, and to thank God all the time. Nothing will do you as much good as that" (J. Philippe, The Way of Trust and Love, 116)." I do like that one! Not an easy challenge but I bet well worth it. 

Do you have any Lenten recommendations? 


  1. I'm really fascinated by the Path to Cavalry. What do you do hang one piece a day or hang them all at once and then remove a piece a day?

  2. I suppose you could put the whole thing up and remove one each day but we put one up each day. I think taking one off each day would serve as a kind of countdown to Easter (at least I know my kids would be eyeballing Easter and the special feasts getting closer) but personally I like the idea of building the path as we go. I guess I feel like putting up one piece each day emphasized the journey as much as the destination whereas if we had them all up and took down a piece each day, my kids wouldn't think anything of the purple piece we removed, only that we were closer to the celebration, if that makes sense.

  3. So do you put up the final cross as the goal you are building the path to?

  4. I didn't, but I don't know any reason you couldn't.