Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wisdom of Chesterton: Forgiveness and Lent

"These are the things which might conceivably and truly make men forgive their enemies. We can only turn hate to love by understanding what are the things that men have loved; nor is it necessary to ask men to hate their loves in order to love one another."     
~ G.K. Chesterton

Today is Cheesefare Sunday or Forgiveness Sunday - aka the start of Lent is tomorrow (in the Eastern Catholic Church). Lent is the time before Pascha/Easter in which gives people the focused time to fast and pray - just as Christ did. He gave us the perfect example of fasting and praying so we must do the same. Here's a run down as to how our family observes Lent. 

1. Food. A few dietary changes on the way...

2. Prayer. My single favorite part of Lent is The Prayer of St. Ephraim. 

O Lord and Master of my life, spare me from the spirit of indifference, despair, lust for power and idle chatter

Instead, bestow on my your servant the spirit of integrity, humility, patience and love

Yes Oh Lord and King, let me see my own sins and not judge my brothers and sisters for your are Blessed unto the ages of ages. Amen

3. Praying. Something new we are going to try is praying the Rosary in the car on the way to school. Just a decade a day so reasonable but setting the standard L-O-W. 

4. Presanctified Liturgy. Ahhhhhh…. Lee and I first put our eyes on each other at a Presanctified Liturgy back in 2005. I love love love this church service so much. Last year we made it to a total of 2 PLs because I was in my first trimester and R was just not a pleasant church goer. Presanctified Liturgy is one of the oldest codified Christian services (did I get that right, Papa). If you have never been to one find your local Eastern Catholic Church and go go go. 

5. Stations of the Cross. Last year we had to come up with a Lenten activity that the girls could go to and make it through. Stations of the Cross kicks off with a Fish Fry before which is excellent for R because she goes to Stations with a full tummy. I can trust E to sit in the back pew and pray through MOST of Stations without too much back and forth. R and I hung out in the back which will probably be much of the same this year except M will be joining us. E has been talking about Stations and Fish Fries since last year so I know she is looking forward to it. 

6. Saint Mail calendar. Have you heard of Saint Mail? It is a pretty neat idea for teaching young kids about saints. Each month your family receives package that includes a letter from and an activity for a saint. We got our starter box in the mail which included a handy-dandy Lent calendar. So I know E is going to love to check those days off the calendar. 

E and R colored their booklets about how to become a saint. They don't know it yet but the March saint package is waiting for them. I'm going to do a review of that package and I'll post the giveaway details so that you can win a one month Saint Mail package for your family!

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  1. I'm also really looking forward to the Presanctified Liturgies! There is nothing like them, is there? I don't know what adjective to use here...
    May your Lent be blessed!

    1. No there is not anything at all like them. I selfishly miss the days when I could really soak them up (when I did not have to worry about kids behaving) but now I'm trying to see them as an opportunity to share our faith with our kids!

  2. I'm loving that prayer of St. Ephraim- thanks for sharing it!

  3. It's a great one. We tack it on to the end of our night time prayers with the girls and they really enjoy it and realize it is something special for Lent.

  4. We also are enjoying the Saint Mail! I have yet to decide of we're taking our young ones to Stations this year...they all did well last year, but now we have an infant. We will see! I'm coming to your site with the Keeping Love in Lent link-up!

  5. Ah, you have reminded me of Saint Mail. I had read about it some time ago but then forgot about them. :) You, along with so many others on the Keeping Love in Lent link up have so many fantastic ideas on celebrating lent that I will have ideas galore for years to come. Thank you for sharing.

  6. What a nice post! I'm definitely checking into Saint Mail. Thank you!