Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On the beginning of Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Each year, Catholics are tasked with the three aspects of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I try to focus on the metanoia being a permanent change of my life that simply begins during Lent. Through sacrifice and prayer, we draw closer to Christ as we prepare for his death and Resurrection.

Last year, I made Jonathan sit through Fireproof. It's a bit cheesy at points, but the underlying message is solid and can be life changing if embraced. Fireproof is the story of a man, whose marriage is near divorce, who takes the Love Dare to learn how to truly love and serve his wife over a period of 40 days.

For our two year anniversary, Jonathan got me a leather bound copy of the Love Dare book. Each day has a different theme -- for example, today's theme is "love is patient". When skimming the book a few weeks ago, I realized that this would be a perfect fit for Lent, especially within the theme I chose for the year of family. The original plan was that we could do it together, but I am excited at the thought of working through each level for him and our family, without having it reciprocated at the same time. Allowing me the first chance to move out of my comfort zone and change.

And it's amazing how close to home this is hitting -- on bigger levels than just between husband and wife. This phrase has been in my head all day:

Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief....the irony of anger toward a wrongful action is that it spawns new wrongs of its own.

Last night, Jonathan and I were up until midnight talking through some frustrations I've had outside our marriage. The quote above, from the first day of the Love Dare, summarizes the exact message he was giving me last night. I know that God is calling me to live with more patience, to react after reflecting, and to learn to control my responses. Perhaps I just need to have the message delivered a few times before it sinks in. :)

The forty days ahead will be a journey, no doubt.

And I'm excited to see where they lead as we prepare for Easter.

1 comment:

ViolinMama said...

I love this! I loved Fireproof, and we got the book and it's waiting to be used. We have our plan already for Lent, but being reminded of the book is wonderful for us.

I wish you a fruitful Lenten journey. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm already starting to feel the peace of the season and being PUMPED to tackle what I need to personal conquer. I can tell you are ready for the same, and it is inspirational!!

Much love Shelley!

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