Posts

Showing posts with the label Fasting

Lent is a Week Away! Are You Ready to Make It Fruitful?

Image
Can you believe it? Lent is only one week away! We’ve barely left the Christmas season, and we are about to walk the journey, with Christ, to Calvary. Are you prepared to enter the Lenten season? Are you ready to make the most of it?

Things You Can Do to Make Your Lent Fruitful
Prayer: Make a point to set aside a few minutes each day to pray. If you have enough time to say a full Rosary, great! But, sometimes, the day gets away from us. So, a vow to say a single Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be is a commitment I think we all could easily make. Prayer is talking with God. He wants to hear from you!Fasting: At a minimum, make the effort to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. By fasting, I mean a reduced breakfast and lunch, and a full dinner. No desserts! If you can do this on a set day of the week, once weekly during Lent, all the better! Fasting helps us to understand that without God, we are nothing. It is God who provides for us: our homes, our jobs, our food, everything!Almsg…

You Cannot Fail at Lent

Image
Plans are Meant to be Altered All over social media, those still left after the Lenten Exodus, people are confessing to their inability to keep their Lenten promises.  According to Facebook and Twitter, there has been lots of coffee drunk, chocolate eaten, swears said, and prayer time skipped.  The hashtag #LentenFail started showing up just a day into the liturgical season.  The #LentFail numbers grew again after bacon bits, chicken broth and unintentional "Oh no, I totally forgot it was Lent" hamburger consumption on the first Friday of Lent.

Here is the good news. YOU Cannot Fail Lent.  It is not a test. Lent is a time of looking at our lives and trying new ways to grow closer to Christ.  Through prayer, fasting and charity, these forty days can be used to challenge our current choices and behaviors, and try on new ones.    The fasting, prayer and alms we take on for Lent, can also enhance our lives well beyond Easter ... read more for ideas on how and extra encouragement…

Lent:What Does God REALLY Want?

Image
In these first days of Lent, the Church shows us exactly how God wants us to pray, fast, serve His people and worship Him. The words from Isaiah 58:1-9 are like brilliant beams of light, cutting through any false notions we might have about this season of repentance that we call Lent. Often we tend to think of Lent as a time to share in the suffering of Christ yet when we do so, we become morose and end up centring more on our own sacrificial devotions than on God. continue reading

A Lenten Overachiever (CWBN Blog Hop)

Image
The Lent 2017 Kickoff Here we are at the beginning of another Lent.  I am not sure when my Lenten love affair began, but I can tell you that it is currently in full bloom!   I feel energized during this time of sacrifice. The grace of a Christian world praying, fasting and helping others in order to strengthen their relationship with Christ, is exciting! This year, as I contemplated what areas of my life could use a booster shot of faith - 6 ideas came to me.  Being the overachiever that I am - instead of picking and choosing, I'm going to do my best to rock all of 6 them!

Find Something Besides Facebook to Give Up for Lent

Image
Really. Please don't leave Social Media for Lent.  I understand that many people use this hiatus to spend time working on their own personal spiritual growth; and I can completely respect that HOWEVER.... please don't completely disappear for 40 days when social media needs you the most.  Okay, I've always had a flair for the dramatic but here's why I am begging you to stay: 'Tis the Season Lent is a season when many people make a resolution to investigate or rejuvenate a faith life. The internet just happens to be a place many people will turn for guidance and even perhaps seek a community to take the journey with.  So, what happens when those who are most likely to post something faith based, could possibly answer questions or would be open to connect as community make a mass exodus off social media during Lent?? There is a risk for missed opportunity to evangelize, catechize and support those seeking meaning through an experience with Christ this Lent. For Ideas…

Have the Last 40 Days Changed You?

Image
Holy Week is here ... Lent 2016 will soon be done
But am I any different than when it all began 40 plus days ago?

Did my Lenten sacrifices - prayers, almsgiving and fasting - transform me? Did they prepare me for the coming Triduum s(Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) services? Most importantly have the readied my heart to rise again with Jesus on Easter -- a new creation in Christ?
Lent and the expectation of the coming of Spring, maybe because I live in a seasonal location, have always co-existed in my heart. Lent starts often in the harshness of winter - cold, long, dark nights. Easter arrives after daylight savings and (usually) the last snow fall. Flowers and trees are budding, maybe even flowering, and there is an emerging from the cocoon like feel to the world.
But have I changed? Has this time of no television, extra prayer and attention to participating in the Sacraments, awoken something in my heart. 
 What will my spiritual practices look like going forward?

A FAST Improvement

Image
The last time I shared what I 'gave up' for Lent, I was severely chastised.  The person was horrified that I would seek glory for my Lenten sacrifice instead of doing it in secret where only God and I would know.  This made me sad - as it was not at all my intent.  Sharing our Lenten sacrifices, our fasts, instead allow us to do several things:
Encouragement for each other.  Fasting is hard work - and we can get discouraged.  It is good to know how others are celebrating this season - it is not so much misery loves company but for me anyway.  I think more of the scripture that states a chord of 3 is not easily broken. Accountability.  This is probably my greatest catalyst for blogging about and sharing with others my Lenten fasts.  If it is just between God and I, while that should surely be enough to keep me on track, often it is not.  I need those extra eyes on my behavior - to be sure I'm not sneaking TV apart from Sundays, or spending money (if you read Monday's blo…

The Meaning of Repentance, Sacrifice and Fasting in Lent

Image
Lent is around the corner again. My Facebook feed has been full of discussions about Lent and articles with this, that or the other Lenten recommendation. It’s amazing how many ways there are to “live Lent”. And each way has both die-hard supporters who see the spiritual value of that particular path through Lent, and critics who see the potential pitfalls. For an example of what I mean, take a look at an article Simcha Fisher wrote a few years ago – I think she did a pretty good job of showing some common approaches to Lent and the very real benefits and potential drawbacks of each.
I don’t think there’s one “right” way, or even “best” way of living Lent. I believe there are as many ways of living Lent as there are people. Although we often approach Lent programmatically, I prefer to see it as a journey, or dialogue between the soul and God. A dialogue is hard to copy or recreate, because it depends largely on the heart and mind of the people involved. A dialogue can have a certain o…

A Family Fast

Image
In these last days of September, we continue to pray for Pope Francis' Evangelization Intention this month: Service to the Poor. Pope Francis knows serving the poor is a divine mandate: "Whatever you do for one of these least brothers of mine, you do for me" (Matthew 25:40). We must serve the poor as Jesus did, as he continues to call us to do as the Body of Christ on earth. But the Pope calls this month's prayer request an evangelization intention, because he knows serving the poor also attracts others to Jesus and his Church. We share the Good News of Jesus in our deeds--if not also in our words--when we care for the poor and disenfranchised.

As a mother and as the director of children's ministry at the Apostleship of Prayer, I love to consider how to help children encounter poverty in a prayerful way. Many, many children know poverty from the inside, of course. Even in this prosperous country of ours, too many children experience hunger, poor nutrition, homeles…

A Hijacked Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real

Image
So, I had planned on posting a new {p,h,f,r} with Auntie Leila, since it has been a whole month since I have. Where does time go?  However, it seems God has other plans, since I cannot get my pictures to load and something has just come through my news feed that I must share!  So here is an unconventional, but important {p,h,f,r} post.

Pretty

Battling the temptations of the flesh

Image
We’ve been delving into temptations coming from the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Last week we discussed demonic temptations in detail. Today, we’ll examine temptations of the flesh and how to combat them.

We saw that people with melancholic or choleric temperaments tend to be more prone to the temptations that come directly from the Devil: pride, envy, and anger. Temptations of the flesh particularly plague the other two temperaments. More specifically, sanguines often struggle with gluttony and sins against chastity. Phlegmatics  struggle with sloth. (I will be writing more about the four classic temperaments throughout this year. I am creating a spiritual growth plan for you to use with your children of each temperament.)

As I have said before, the flesh can be the most relentless of the three sources of temptation. While the Devil may leave us alone for a time, and we can shut out the world to a certain extent, we can never get away from our own flesh. It remains…

Summer is Coming!: Awesome Recipe for Cold Tomato Soup & Grilled Brie Sandwiches

Image
If you ever get tired of the predictable Campbell's tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich combo, why not kick it up a notch? Add a little gourmet to your kitchen by making cold tomato soup (Spanish-style!) and grilled Brie sandwiches on a tasty baguette. With a little time and effort, you can turn tried-and-true into new and exciting.

My husband's family is from Spain, so the cold tomato soup known as gazpacho is a summer staple in my mother-in-law's kitchen. Salmorejo is a lesser known version, which ups the kid-friendly factor by eliminating vegetables like green pepper and onion from the recipe.

Read more here...

Lent: What Does GOD Want From Us ?

Image
In these first days of Lent, the Church shows us exactly how God wants us to pray. fast and serve both His people and worship Him.

The words of the first reading from Isaiah 58:1-9 are like brilliant beams of light, cutting through any false notions we might have about this season of repentance that we call Lent.

 Often we tend to think of Lent as a time to share in the suffering of Christ yet when we do so, we become morose and end up centering more on our own sacrificial devotions than on God. Lent is a time to get rid of the flub in our lives but only so we are able to connect more to the Heart of our Beloved, more on the people around us who are in need. Lent is not an excuse for dramatic acts of fasting  by wearing sack cloth and ashes, figuratively or literally. As Isaiah says:
Is this the manner of fasting I wish, of keeping a day of penance: That a man bow his head like a reed and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD God answers this rh…

On Staten Island: Feast Day for Our Lady of Good Health (Vailankanni), Fast Day for Syria

Image
This is the day Pope Francis asked Christians worldwide to fast and to pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria. It also is the feast day of Our Lady of Good Health (Vailankanni). Today, I traveled with our younger son and three of my CL friends from New Jersey to a Staten Island parish where we joined hundreds of others in fasting for Syria and feasting for Our Lady of Good Health.
Keep Reading...

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Image
I hear so many people say, "Well, if you aren't getting fed at your parish - find another one." or they say, "If your priest distorts the Mass and the sacraments, then go somewhere else." I don't agree with this. If your priest is distorting the Holy Mass or the sacraments, do find a valid mass so that you can be fed, but make sure you come back to the parish where things may not just be "right" and do much prayer and penance for that Priest.  Do not abandon him.  He is precious to God, and what a great gift is given to God if he is turned back from the darkness! For at his hands how many more are touched and if he is obedient to the Magisterium, his obedience will beget good, faithful Catholics.  Pray many Rosaries for him, do penance for him, fast for him, ask God to put it in his heart to take up his Rosary again, for the Holy Rosary demolishes all heresies.  

Once I went to Holy Mass (I won't say where) and the Priest was totally dead in th…