Author Topic: not doing anything for lent  (Read 417 times)

Offline Chestertonian

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not doing anything for lent
« on: February 13, 2018, 12:35:54 AM »
is it sinful to just....not do anything additional for lent because youare already thoroughlymiserable

i was thinking about giving up forums but havent even been up to posting much.  i feel guilty because my son said "What are we going to do for lent" and i didnt know what to say.  i feel like we are the worst catholic parents ever because right now my jewish mother is taking care of him and my wife is in the hospital going through some real agony.  i just wish we could be like normal catholics and give up chocolate or something. 

last year we gave up watching movies as a family which is one of the few things i can do with my kids.  i cant think of anything that is gratifying or enough that i would  miss it.  so lent is just one big reminder of how we fail at being catholic and about how we cant even get lent right

so one of the things catholics do to motivate themselves is they imagine how good Easter will be after a long period of fasting and penances... but even then i cant see myself enjoying much of anything. iwas miserable all last easter, christmas, etc.
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Offline MundaCorMeum

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 01:10:44 AM »
I think God has chosen your penances for you.  You're doing PLENTY right now. Just offer up the very heavy cross(es) you are currently carrying.  For your son... maybe when he asks what y'all are doing for Lent, turn the question around: "what do you think we should do?  Pick one thing for us to do together.". Maybe it won't be something you can do; or it's something you are already doing, because you have no choice (like giving up sweets)... Doesn't matter.  Try anyway with your son.  Tell him, "yes, that's a great idea.  Let's do it."  It'll make him and Our Lord pleased. 

 
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Offline Obrien

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 01:48:25 AM »
How about suggesting to your son;

1. learning a new prayer together perhaps, the Act of Hope,
2. picking a saint to learn about
3. watching a saint movie
4. talking about the miracles of Jesus.
5. These might be fun for him to work on during lent and hang on the windows of the hospitals. https://www.amazon.com/Psalms-Stained-Glass-Coloring-Dover/dp/0486478343/ref=pd_sim_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0486478343&pd_rd_r=DSQEHB4ZP6RYGPBNAQH9&pd_rd_w=blLcP&pd_rd_wg=JP3n4&psc=1&refRID=DSQEHB4ZP6RYGPBNAQH9

From what I read your son seems to be a very good little boy. He seems drawn to do the right thing and please Jesus, always. This must be a great consolation to you. Most children are not so eager to start their lent. I know, I am a mother of many. But here is your son, in this most difficult situation, in less than ideal circumstances holding on to the beauty and the traditions of his faith that you and your wife gave him. What a beautiful boy he is. Congratulations.
 

 
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Offline Xavier

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 02:21:47 AM »
Oh, Ches. You're clearly suffering a lot. I would just suggest one thing *for you* to give up, and sorry if this sounds like tough love; of course it will be hard, but if possible, try and ask God for the grace to give up being *thoroughly miserable* for Lent. And forever. That must be the hardest thing to sacrifice, but it will surely be a worthy one. God wants you to be saintly even amidst your heavy cross. Try to watch some good movies about the lives of the Saints with your family, as others said; or to read good books that remind us to cultivate a holy joy in our lives. The best means to attain this peace of Christ which surpasses understanding that Scripture and the Saints speak of and that the world cannot give is total and unconditional abandonment to divine Providence.

Quote from: Abandonment to divine Providence
"I. Sacrifice, the Foundation of Sanctity

CHAPTER II.

THE DUTIES OF THOSE SOULS CALLED BY GOD TO THE STATE OF ABANDONMENT.

SECTION I.--Sacrifice, the Foundation of Sanctity.

The first great duty of souls called by God to this state is the absolute and entire surrender of themselves to Him.

"Sacrificate sacrificium, et sperate in Domino." That is to say that the great and solid foundation of the spiritual life is the sacrifice of oneself to God, subjecting oneself to His good pleasure in all things, both interior and exterior, and becoming so completely forgetful of self thereafter as to regard oneself as a chattel, sold and delivered, to which one no longer has any right. In this way the good pleasure of God forms one's whole felicity; and His happiness, glory and existence one's sole good. This foundation laid, the soul has nothing else to do but to rejoice that God is God, and to abandon itself so entirely to His good pleasure that it feels an equal satisfaction in whatever it does, nor ever reflects on the uses to which it is applied by the arrangements of this good pleasure. To abandon oneself, therefore, is the principal duty to be fulfilled, involving, as it does, the faithful discharge of all the obligations of one's state. The perfection with which these duties are accomplished will be the measure of the sanctity of each individual soul. A saintly soul is a soul freely submissive, with the help of grace, to the divine will. All that follows on this free consent is the work of God, and not of man. The soul should blindly abandon itself and be indifferent about everything. This is all that God requires of it, and as to the rest He determines and chooses according to His own plans, as an architect selects and arranges the stones for the building he is about to construct. It is therefore of the first importance to love God and His will, and to love this will in whatever way it is made manifest to us, without desiring anything else. The soul has no concern in the choice of different objects, that is God's affair, and whatever He gives is best for the soul. The whole of spirituality is an abridgment of this maxim, "Abandon yourself entirely to the over-ruling of God, and by self-oblivion be eternally occupied in loving and serving Him without any of those fears, reflexions, examens, and anxieties which the affair of our salvation, and perfection sometimes occasion." Since God wishes to do all for us, let us place everything in His hands once and for all, leaving them to His infinite wisdom; and trouble no more about anything but what concerns Him. On then, my soul, on with head uplifted above earthly things, always satisfied with God, with everything He does, or makes you do. Take good care not to imprudently entertain a crowd of anxious reflexions which, like so many trackless ways, carry our footsteps far and wide until we are hopelessly astray. Let us go through that labyrinth of self-love by leaping over it, instead of traversing its interminable windings.

On, my soul, through despondency, illness, aridity, uncertain tempers, weakness of disposition, snares of the devil and of men; through suspicions, jealousies, evil imaginations and prejudices. Let us soar like the eagle above all these clouds with eyes always fixed on the sun, and on its ways, which represent our obligations. All this we must needs feel, but we must, at the same time, remember that ours is not a life of mere sentiment, and that it does not depend upon us either to feel, or to be callous. Let us live in the higher regions of the soul in which God and His will form an eternity ever equal, ever the same, ever unchanging. In this dwelling entirely spiritual, wherein the uncreated, immeasurable and ineffable holds the soul at an infinite distance from all that is specific in shadows and created atoms, it remains calm, even when the senses are tossed about by tempests. It has become independent of the senses; their troubles and agitations and innumerable vicissitudes no more affect it, than the clouds that obscure the sky for a moment and then fade away, affect the sun. We know that all passes away like clouds blown along by the wind, and nothing is consecutive nor ordered, but everything is in a state of perpetual change. In the state of faith, as in that of glory, God and His will is the eternal object that captivates the heart, and will one day form its true happiness, and this glorious state of the soul will influence the material part which at present is the prey of monsters and savage beasts. Beneath these appearances, terrible though they be, the divine action will so work on this material part as to make it partake of a heavenly power which will render it brilliant as the sun; for the faculties of the sensitive soul, and those of the body are prepared here below like gold or iron, or like canvas for a picture, or stones for a building. Like the matter of which these different materials are composed they will not attain their brilliance and purity of form until they have passed through many alterations, have endured many deprivations, and survived many destructions. Whatever they suffer here below under the hand of God serves to that end.

The soul, in the state of faith, which knows the secret of God, dwells always in peace. All that takes place interiorly, instead of alarming, reassures it. Deeply convinced that it is guided by God, it takes all that happens as so much grace, and overlooking the instrument with which God works, it thinks only of the work that He is doing.

It is actuated by love to fulfil faithfully and exactly all its duties. All that is distinct in a soul abandoned to God, is the work of grace, with the exception of those defects which are slight, and which the action of grace even turns to good account. I call that distinct of which a soul receives a sensible impression either of sorrow or consolation through those things applied to it unceasingly by the divine will for its improvement. I call it distinct because it is more clearly distinguished by the soul from all else that takes place within it. In all these things faith sees only God, and applies itself solely to become conformed to His will."
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 03:54:02 AM by Xavier »
Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING: "My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby Offer my whole Life to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with my life, I place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the suffering of my entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and Priests, for good Priestly vocations, and for all souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept my life Sacrifice and my offerings and give me Your grace that I may persevere obediently until my death." Amen. https://www.avemariamaternostra.com/life-offering-promises.html It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time.

Please read the Blessed Mother's promises in the link: those who make it seriously will face no Purgatory (promise 5) since they would have completed it here, will have all their loved ones released from Purgatory the day they offer their life with intent to persevere (promise 4), and can save the souls of all their family members in due time by their life offering (promise 3). It will benefit all souls who have ever lived until time's end (promise 2) A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. You will have your name written in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary forever (promise 1).
 
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Offline ServusMariae

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 02:38:32 AM »
is it sinful to just....not do anything additional for lent because you are already thoroughly miserable

No. God loves your soul. :grouphug:

Quote
i was thinking about giving up forums but havent even been up to posting much.  i feel guilty because my son said "What are we going to do for lent" and i didnt know what to say.

Awww... your son is pretty sweet, I admit. ^-^ One suggestion that I can give is to tell him to do everything, every single chore all for the love of Our Lord & Our Lady. Give up watching TV/computer games. Cut down on complaining. Skip snack time. Compile a list of people to pray for the next 40 days. Offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Go for Eucharistic Adoration. Read some good holy books. Allocate more time for private prayer. Console the Holy Face. Pray the Golden Arrow prayer for vain offenses against the Holy Name of God. Pray the Chaplet of 7 sorrows. Meditate on the Way of the Cross. The list goes on & on & on ...

As for you & your wife: Be at peace. You all are NOT the worst parents ever. In fact, all your sufferings & agonies make you all the best ever parents to your son. You all are blessed enough to have the capacity to teach him not to fear suffering, & that with each suffering endured for the love of God merits a massive blessing to partake in the Passion of Our Lord. No further action necessary. If you say that you all are ultra-miserable enough by carrying multiple crosses each & every single day, there is no need to seek for any more external penances, I assure you. :) Just remember to look up every now & then & say: "Jesus & Mary, I love Thee. Save souls!"  :pray3:
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 02:43:01 AM by ServusMariae »
 
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Offline dymphna17

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 05:32:05 AM »
Lent isn't all about what we give up.  Lent is about fast and abstinence in order to join our hearts, minds, and souls to Our Lord's in His Passion.  Sometimes it's more efficacious to add something to our lives in order to have a more perfect union with our suffering Master.  Say an extra decade of the rosary, make it a point to give alms, do some extra work for our Priests and Nuns, find something extra to do that will make our spouses or children happy.  We can all think of little things that we have either put off or dismissed because it seemed silly when we were presented with the idea.  In other words, find something that will help you join Our Lord.  Make that extra effort, whether it be something like giving up chocolate to remind yourself of all that Our Lord gave up for us on that cross and before, or making it a point to go out of your way to make sure your Wife/Husband knows you love them, such as being sure to compliment something they do, every day, or helping with the dishes after supper...  You get the idea. 

Your son needs you now Ches.  Yes, of course your Wife does as well, but your son is paying attention to your every move.  Now is when he learns how to be Catholic and is developing his "sensus Catholicus".  But, God bless her, your Jewish Mother can't give that to your son.  You are doing a good job teaching him how not to ever give up trying to be a good Catholic, but he needs your wisdom now.  Maybe show him why you became a Traditional Catholic.  I know you are struggling with all of this, so maybe going back over it will help you too.  Maybe try to teach him a special prayer with the goal of learning it by the end of Lent.  Or spend it learning about the Fathers of the Church.  Just something extra.  And do whatever it is first for the greater glory of God, but also for your Wife.  Your son needs to learn that there are things we can do to help, even when it's not something physical.

Lent is more about giving glory to God than just not eating candy for a while.  God bless.   :pray3:
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Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 09:02:46 AM »
You could give up despairing and receive Communion as often as possible this lent. 

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Offline Jayne

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 09:13:04 AM »
I have had years in which, either because of chronic illness or pregnancy discomforts, I did not give up anything for Lent.  As I recall, last year's Lent, when I was looking after my dying mother, I did not give up anything. 

I can't remember where I saw this, but it made sense to me, that the penances given to us by God through our life circumstances are of greater merit than the ones we choose for ourselves.  When God chooses, we completely let go of our own will.

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Offline mikemac

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 11:18:34 AM »
How about suggesting to your son;

1. learning a new prayer together perhaps, the Act of Hope,
2. picking a saint to learn about
3. watching a saint movie
4. talking about the miracles of Jesus.
5. These might be fun for him to work on during lent and hang on the windows of the hospitals. https://www.amazon.com/Psalms-Stained-Glass-Coloring-Dover/dp/0486478343/ref=pd_sim_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0486478343&pd_rd_r=DSQEHB4ZP6RYGPBNAQH9&pd_rd_w=blLcP&pd_rd_wg=JP3n4&psc=1&refRID=DSQEHB4ZP6RYGPBNAQH9

From what I read your son seems to be a very good little boy. He seems drawn to do the right thing and please Jesus, always. This must be a great consolation to you. Most children are not so eager to start their lent. I know, I am a mother of many. But here is your son, in this most difficult situation, in less than ideal circumstances holding on to the beauty and the traditions of his faith that you and your wife gave him. What a beautiful boy he is. Congratulations.

That's a real good idea.

Act of Hope prayers
http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=89

And yes Chestertonian, receive the Holy Eucharist.
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Offline PerEvangelicaDicta

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 01:51:01 PM »
Magnificent excerpt, Xavier.
They shall not be confounded in the evil time; and in the days of famine they shall be filled
Psalms 36:19
 

Offline Miriam_M

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Re: not doing anything for lent
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 02:13:32 PM »
Our attachments to our Capital Vices or an attachment to a particular, persistent venial sin are really good sacrifices.

My spiritual director always suggests concentrating on one Capital Sin at a time, since all seven are interconnected, actually, and thus working on one will reap benefits toward the others.