Entering the Season of Lent
By Jennifer Gregory Miller ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 09, 2016 | In The Liturgical Year
Having Ash Wednesday begin so early in February makes it difficult to me to get into gear. Every year I make some decisions on what areas to focus on during Lent, but even as I choose them, I always wait for God to send me His penance for me for Lent. He knows just what I need. And when Lent begins earlier, I know that I already have one of my beginning penances: keeping calm and persevering even when I am falling behind and feeling discouraged. I’m not ready for Lent to start, but I must keep on!
Tomorrow our foreheads will be marked with the ashes, with the reminder of turning back to the Gospel and remembering that this human life begins and ends as dust. It’s a remarkable day, with much richness, but I’m not recollected enough to write something witty and inspiring. For this season of Lent we will be treading a similar path with the family, reading a few different books, looking at ourselves one year older and choosing penances according to the personal areas that need some work. As my sons are 8 and 12, we are moving into more personal and interior work than exterior shows of Lenten devotions.
Just as the liturgy gives the first four days of Lent as a time to contemplate and get adjusted to the new season, I give myself that time to acclimate to my new surroundings. If we are ready to rend our hearts, the next six weeks can be fruitful, but they are also hard and isolating. Turning off the outside noise and being still to hear the small quiet voice of God can take time. I pray that you will have a blessed season of Lent.
For further reading, see my previous posts on the Lenten season:
- It’s About the Cross, Not the #Ashtag
- Are Sundays Part of Lent?
- Entering the Season of Lent
- Lentitude Adjustment
- Lent: A Time of Contemplation for All
- Lenten Mnemonics: Keeping our Focus in Lent
- Lenten Wake-Up Call
- Preparing for Lent
- Preparing for Lent: Seven Lessons the Flu Taught Me
- The Missing Element In My Lenten Penance
- Fasting and Mercy
- Lenten Conversion and Repentance: The True Vine and the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Mid-Lent: Technology Helps To Avoid the Slump
- Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches
- Following the Roman Lenten Stations
- A Peek into our Daily Roman Walk
Feasts and Special Days of Lent:
- Lenten Ember Days
- Laetare, Jerusalem, Rejoice!
- Feastday Highlights: St. Patrick and the Paschal Feast
- The Great Saints of March: Patrick and Joseph
- Solemnity of St. Joseph: A Family Celebration
- Celebrating St. Joseph
- The Oases of Lent: Celebrations of St. Patrick, St. Joseph, Annunciation and Family Days
- The Annunciation and Lent: Celebrating New Life through a Mary Garden
- The Solemnity of the Annunciation: the Moment of Incarnation in Our Lives
- Contemplating Good Friday and the Annunciation
- Passiontide and Veiling of Images
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