"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”
|By Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States (v-day flowers Uploaded by Fæ)|
[CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
One of the peculiarities of Easter’s status as a movable feast is that a couple of feast days which double as secular holidays can fall within significant parts of its 40 days. One of these is St. Valentine’s Day, which may or may not fall within the Lenten season on any given year. This year was particularly unique as the fasting of Ash Wednesday crashed full bore into the sappy chocolate sweetness of St. Valentine’s Day. What’s a girl to do when austerity meets saccharine sweet and children are accustomed to chocolate hearts from mom? It’s a dilemma of contrasts....Or, is it?
As Jesus walked the steps that we trace in the stations of the cross, he suffered out of love for us. As lashings were received and thorns pressed flesh and a mother’s tears brought divine sorrow, love was the reason—love for us, unworthy ones. It was all about keeping us near, giving us hope, and extending the opportunity for grace. His love-saturated focus was upon us, in all of our smallness and insignificance.
Maybe I’d best take a lesson from my Savior. Perhaps the way to keep love in Lent is to remember that the fasting is for the giving-- the fasting is for the filling of the alms jar so that others might have bread. The repentance is so that one might draw closer to the Source of Holiness. The study is so that one might be better enriched to nourish the faith of others. Perhaps I'd best pray so that I might be better equipped to serve. Perhaps I might best remember that he died so that I might live to serve him through meeting the needs of others. Perhaps that is where the love is, in Lent.
Maybe Lent isn't about my denial; it's about others' abundance. Maybe Lent isn't about me at all. Maybe it's about Christ Jesus and those he is sending me out to serve. Maybe Lent is about...well, love.
How do you balance the self-examination and spiritual renewal of Lent with a focus upon service and charity?
May you be blessed to "keep the love in Lent" this 2013 Lenten season.
Pax Christi dear ones,
Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.
Discover new Catholic Blogs to follow!