Lately, our dinner-table talk has centered around the up and coming Season of Lent.
Our Catholic Faith enriches us with so many wonderful Liturgical celebrations and traditions throughout the Church year; but, I think that “Lent” might just be my favorite.
As so many other Christian families will do for the 40 days of the Lenten journey, we will make humble and meager offerings in sacrifice to Our Lord; depriving ourselves of personal pleasures, luxuries, or activities that we normally enjoy so as to “die to self” and “put on Christ” as we go out into the “desert” of our hearts and seek Him there.
I am inspired by my childrens’ willingness to “suffer for Christ”. Just yesterday, as we were sharing what each of us plans on “giving up” for Lent, one of my daughters lamented that a certain item would be very difficult for her to part with for 40 days.
Immediately, her sister suggested: “That’s all the more reason to give it up, then, isn’t it?”
I admired this willingness to take on the difficult in order to grow closer to Jesus.
Even the youngest children have their own thoughts and ideas about making a sacrifice. One said that they are giving up “apples”…another, “juice”…and one mentioned that she would give up “playing the organ” which she absolutely loves doing every day!
After my husband and each child had shared their planned sacrifices, they all looked at me and asked, “What about you, Mom? What are you giving up this year?”
I knew then, that I wanted to “take the bull by the horns” so to speak. If I were going to go enter the desert, in search of my Lord, so that He can prune and purge my soul of its faults and sins and weaknesses…then I had to be willing to give Him “something to work with”…As I listened to my kids discuss the fact that our offerings and sacrifice are supposed to pose some difficulty; some struggle, so that we can better share in the Passion of Christ…I felt compelled to begin my purgation in an area where I already struggle…vanity.
And though it might sound silly to some or amazingly simple to another…for me, the sacrifice I chose will not be easy; and yet, I know it will be worth the struggle.
I will give up cosmetics…for the 40 days of Lent.
It has always been a little trick of mine, as a busy (and often, tired!) mom of many…to add a bit of liner or a touch of blush in order to brighten the complexion and energize myself throughout the day. I strive to keep myself tidy, well-groomed, and attractive for my husband…not to mention the fact, that, without realizing it…every time he sees me without make-up, my darling husband inevitably inquires, “Are you not feeling well, or really tired today?” (laugh)
As I strip away my morning routine of “beautifying the externals”, I am opening my heart and asking God to “beautify the internals”.
Even the smallest of offerings is pleasing to and accepted by the Lord.
He awaits us.
He is there, calling our name, to come and join Him in the desert.
Will you go?
What are you willing to do without along the way?
Copyright 2011 Judy Dudich