Matt and I each have some personal sacrifices we're making, and the whole family is going back to meatless meals on Wednesdays in addition to Fridays, which sounds a little daunting with Kit's current allergies—no meat, no dairy, and no soy? Oh, and no breakfast-for-supper, at Matt's request. I guess my available proteins are beans, fish, and maybe hard-boiled eggs... This could be difficult.
But hey, just a half hour ago I read a quote that totally applies here: "For if the work be laborious, reflect that it is for God's sake you undergo all this, and you shall receive sufficient consolation." (St John Chrysostom) I'm hearing two pertinent lessons in there: Not only that A) remembering that we're doing this in order to draw closer to God will help when observing Lent is difficult, but also that B) I do actually have to be carrying out these Lenten practices with the purpose of growing closer to God. Not for the sake of looking good to others, not simply for the sake of "doing something for Lent"; for God's sake. Whatever sacrifices I'm making during Lent, they're supposed to be about God, not about me.
Because having a list schedule thing helped me so much with staying on top of things during Advent, and I was somehow organized enough last Easter to write down what we'd done for Lent 2015, let's have a quick sketch of what our current Lenten plans look like.
Feb 9: Shrove Tuesday; doughnuts for breakfast, pancakes for supper
Feb 10: Ash Wednesday; fast/abstinence
General Lent: meatless Wed & Fri; sacrifice jar with black beans on the table; daily reflections; sing Stabat Mater; shoot for once-a-week stations of the cross
Feb 17, 19, 20: Ember days; meatless
Mar 6: Laetare Sunday; ??
Mar 13: Passion Sunday; veil statues around the house
Mar 17: St Patrick; Irish stew? Soda bread?
Mar 19: Solemnity of St Joseph; ??
Mar 20: Palm Sunday; psari plaki for supper
There's a few question marks up there, but I have almost a month before I have to figure out how to celebrate Laetare Sunday, so we should be good. Holy Week and Triduum don't need to be taking up real estate in my cluttered mental calendar just yet either; I'm probably going to need all of my mental energy to come up with this year's list of supper ideas. If you have any favorite meatless recipes starring beans, please share them!
One thing more; I think I've shared this before, but here again is the Lenten prayer of St Ephraim the Syrian. I've had it posted on the bathroom mirror the last couple of Lents, and I think it's going up in the kitchen as well this year.
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle chatter.
Give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Your servant.
O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother, for You are holy always, now and ever and forever. Amen.