Ugh, guys. Reminded of this right now. Kayla Mueller, Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammed, and Razan Mohammed Abu-Salha were all young, peaceful, engaged, faith-filled people. We need more of those kind of people in the world. It is tragic to lose even one of them, under any circumstances.
I want to spend my Lent focusing on how to embody those characteristics more closely. And I’ll probably fail. Because to be human is to try, to seek, to fail, to love, to sin, and then to do it all again. But I’m (yet again) going to take a whack at doing all those things better.
Last year, I prayed the Morning Offering every day and listened to some religious podcasts. It went really well for me, and I am still praying the Morning Offering every day. And the more I do, the less often I remember to do it on the Metro or while pouring a cup of coffee at the office. But I’ve kept it up and starting the day with the Morning Offering has been really centering for me.
This Lent, I want to take on some projects that will (hopefully) help me come to each day as a more mindful, aware, and connected woman. So… I’ll let you know how I am doing on Easter.
Here’s the breakdown of what I’m planning to take on this Lent.
- Spiritual reading only
- Make my bed daily
- Pray the Act of Contrition and Memorare before bed
“Whole40”: When I did my Whole30 last October/November, I had more energy, slept better, was generally in a better mood. Those factors make me think that eating along Whole30 principles for Lent will help me improve in a lot of other ways as well.
Spiritual reading only: I love to read. I have a long list of spiritual books that I want to read, and I usually let myself get distracted into reading other books. This Lent, I want to focus on reading things that not only feed my brain but also my heart and soul. (Note – I have read a number of the books above and am not trying to read all of the books in the photo.)
Make my bed daily: Less physical clutter, less mental clutter. Making my bed makes a huge difference, especially in my studio apartment. I also want to be able to be hospitable to guests at any time. My bed being neat takes part of the worry out of the equation – hopefully keeping the “I’m sorry it’s so messy!” factor out of welcoming people to my apartment.
Pray the Act of Contrition and Memorare before bed: I’ve got the Morning Offering down at this point, next up is some night prayer routine. Closing the day peacefully and easing myself into sleep with a clear mind will hopefully continue beyond Lent and any strict adherence to Whole30.
None of these are independently too hard or too life-changing, but together with other practices I do anyway (mostly going to Mass and confession, with a Rosary or two thrown in) will hopefully make this Lent centering and refreshing, clearing the emotional clutter that news, work, and – to be honest – sin, create in me.
Now for a request: I’m currently reading Between Heaven and Mirth. What should I read next? The options are basically endless as you can see above. They really run the gamut. We’ve got Nouwen, Chesterton, Merton, and De Sales for Catholic classics. Hammarskjold and Lewis for inspiring Protestants. Armstrong for a little more popular-academics. Any must reads among them? Something else I’m missing and definitely should be diving into?
Linking up with Blessed Is She over here with a lot of other lovely women thinking and talking about Lent.