So I know it is kind of late....everybody already posted about their lenten resolutions a few weeks ago..but I have had this post saved as a draft for a couple of weeks now and it was just hard to finish it up and post it in the midst of this pharmacy school / wedding planning / working craziness! But now I finally get to reflect and share with you my lenten resolutions.....but before I do that....
#1 First of All, Shouldn't you keep your lenten resolutions secret?
MT 6:16 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
LK 12:1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
BUT..... my intention is not to share my suffering and lenten struggles and my "noble resolutions" in order to be praised or what not...I want to share them to inspire someone, to be an example, to put ideas of lenten resolutions out there that maybe someone, somewhere, someday will like and undertake.
So here they are...
#2 Fasting from 6pm to 6am M-FBasically, NO EATING PAST 6PM. Snacking late at night is very, very tempting for me and distracts me from the things I have to get done....even from prayer and studying...So it's time to conquer it!
#3 Full day fast on Fridays...since I am new to full-day fasting, I had to ease in with at least 1 tiny meal and 1 drink. I forget where I read this advice, but this advice really helped me:
"A full-day fast means nothing to eat from Thursday after supper until Friday evening. It is difficult to begin with a full-day fast. Better to break yourself in gradually. Start by skipping lunch on Friday; then, after a week or two, skip breakfast as well. Start at first on just bread and water.After a few weeks of bread and water, shift to just water and fruit or vegetable juice or light broth. Then, eventually, fast on just water for that full day"
I am definitely not at the point of fasting on just water all day. So far, my usual Friday routine is coffee in the morning...which usually gets me through til about noon. Then, in the early afternoon, I have been eating 1 orange..and then fasting for the rest of the day, until 6pm, when I had my first real meal of the day. It hurts while I'm in the midst of it, but feels so good afterwards when I have that feeling of accomplishment! I know I did something hard and I did it for God...I know that I was able to defy the needs and wants of my own body and make sacrifice for my Lord! Fasting really is great and it really does sharpen your senses, especially your awareness of the presence of GOD!
#4 Stations of the Cross on Fridays
So far, I have prayed them by myself at home on Fridays twice, and I have attended them at church last Friday, which was First Friday of the Month. I also went to confession last Friday which was so relieving and great, since there was this one sin that was laying heavy upon my heart these past few weeks. Thank God for the sacrament of reconciliation.
#5 "Gorzkie Zale" aka "Bitter Lamentations" on MondaysYep, you've probably never heard of it, even if you are Catholic....Unless you're a Polish Catholic. This is a set of prayers that originates from Polish Catholicism and is usually sung every Sunday of Lent. I have never heard of any American churches doing these but I still remember singing these during my childhood in Poland, and my church here, which has masses in Polish, also offers these every Sunday. Each of the prayers is SUNG to a different and very, very sad melody. They are so sad, they literally make me cry. My favorite one is the last part, which is an exchange, or a conversation, with Our Lady, about her sadness and suffering while she has to watch her beloved Son tortured, made fun of, and spit on. They consist of 3 major parts. You go through 1 part per week. Each part consists 5 prayers and also each part focuses on a different set of events of the Passion of Christ. These prayers are a very, very good way to MEDITATE and RELIVE the passion of Our Lord.
#6 I GAVE UP FACEBOOK!!!!!!
Yes I did! And I don't even miss it. Life is much more peaceful without it! And I'm not wasting so much time. I now have more time for prayer and for reading Catholic books! WIN! :-)
Oh, and this is my profile pic at this time:
#7 I gave up listening to music in my car
I have been increasingly doing this over the past year anyways, only occasionally turning on my radio. And I have been falling more and more in love with silence, because silence lets me focus and meditate on God and on myself. Throughout the past year, I usually kept the radio off during parts of my morning commute so I can pray....then I kept it for for the WHOLE commute, then I noticed I would sometimes even keep it off on my commute back home...then I noticed that music really distracted and disturbed me when I did turn it on. SO for lent, I decided to go all out and keep that radio turned off for all 40+ days and just meditate in silence. Silence really IS GOLDEN. BELIEVE ME. SILENCE HAS CHANGED ME!