My mom and stepdad both grew up Catholic.
I have a slew of aunts, uncles and family members who are practicing/non practicing Catholics. Which made for some pretty awkward family prayers when we would go over to my nana's house. Imagine my brother, sister, and myself having NO idea how to cross ourselves or able to recite the meal prayers...
With that being said, I've always had exposure to the Catholic traditions. It's been a way of life for a good portion of my family and in particular, my favorite cousins lives. I've been to mass with family members off and on, I've experienced the practice of Lent, and observed all of the ancient practices and beautiful rituals that they participate in.
Over Christmas, I was absolutely enchanted by Advent and the Mr. and I decided we were going to participate in the lighting of the Advent candles as well as the readings from the Book of Common Prayer. I can't tell you what a blessing it was. The only way I can describe it is a refreshing delight. It was like finding a long lost book in your home. One that you'd read before and desperately wanted to read again, but couldn't find. And you finally find it and as you open the pages... refreshing delight.
I have no idea if that made sense to anyone but me.
So yesterday was Fat Tuesday and today is the beginning of Lent. Now, let me tell you, the only reason I knew ANY of this is because of Facebook. And because at Kroger, in the middle of all the Valentine balloons and cupcakes, there was a slew of King Cakes and mardi-gras stuff.
I've practiced Lent once in college (to my memory). The BFF and I gave up Dr. Pepper (back when I was a Dr. Pepper drinker). It was kind of hard, but very do-able.
Like my delight with Advent, I am finding myself curious of Lent. I'm not necessarily planning a fast (though I am giving up white breads and highly processed grains, that's not for the Lord, but for my temple), but I do want to plan a focus for the weeks leading up to Easter.
Right now, my rudimentary plan is to spend all of my personal time in the word studying the Gospels. Studying Jesus like I've never studied Him before. Working hard to focus my lens of reading scripture through His eyes. As well as studying how Lent came to be.
Just as Advent was a refocus on Christ and His birth and what that meant for the entire human race, I hope these next 6 weeks will help me to refocus on the severity of our sin, and the absolute redemption we have because of the death. Because of Him, Death has lost it's sting. There is more joy in my heart than I can possibly imagine through that statement. Ya'll, DEATH HAS LOST IT'S STING!!!
Because of Him, we will be with our Creator in Heaven.
And because of Him, I rejoice.
If you're interested in joining me on this journey, please comment below!
It's because of Him we will truly live!