Friday, March 11, 2011

Little Lenten Practices

Happy first Friday of Lent!

I'm not kidding at all when I say that this is my favorite of all liturgical seasons. There's something wonderful about purging bad habits, starting good ones, and cutting down on the distractions in our lives so we can focus more on what's important.

Clare is understanding WAY more than I thought she would. I've been turning on EWTN after lunch to watch their Stations of the Cross as I tidy the kitchen and we get ready for naps, and today Clare got so excited when at the end they showed an image of the Risen Christ -- she ran to me yelling, "Mommy! Mommy! Jesus came back from the dead!!!"

We made the Crown of Thorns shown here, although mine didn't turn out as pretty. Turns out that braiding the salt dough ought to have been done on the cookie sheet on which I baked it instead of braiding it all together and then having to transfer it to the sheet, which stretched it and totally disfigured it. Oh well. Good enough for a crown of thorns for a 3-year old. :) She loves this activity. I told her that she gets to remove a thorn for every extra good thing that she does to show Jesus that she loves Him, and I can really see her making an effort and being creative in her charity. How beautiful to see our little girl learning to grow in virtue!

I also figured out that the Crown of Thorns she loves so much can be used as a disciplinary tool. Last night she'd been so helpful that I let her take out TWO thorns from Jesus' crown. But then later in the evening, she pushed James hard enough off her bed that he hit his face and his lip was bleeding. I was shocked that I didn't lose my patience (see, Lent is good for me too!), but then I came up with a really good idea: instead of the normal swat or time out and apologize to James, I first made her go out and put one of the thorns back in to Jesus' crown. I think that worked more than any time out could have! She was really sad. Maybe a little overkill, but it illustrated the point I was trying to get across to her.

We also have a Lenten paper chain (we like paper chains in this house) and a little Lenten calendar that she got to color to keep track of the days.

We will be (attempting to) attend our parish's Stations of the Cross every Friday - but until Tom is done working 12 hours through the night I'm not sure I want to try this alone. :/

Also, I'm planning on doing this Last Supper craft with Clare duing Holy Week to get ready for the Triduum.

That's about it. Tom and I each have our own resolutions, and we're praying that this Lent is fruitful for our family and yours!


Jen said...

Carrie, I don't think replacing a thorn was overkill! It's a powerful visual reminder - for us all - that our sins cause our Lord Jesus great pain and suffering. I *try* to remind myself of this when I'm tempted to do (or say) something I shouldn't.

I enjoy Lent, too, for the same reasons you have stated. Whenever folks start making resolutions for the new year, I hold off a bit, knowing Lent is right around the corner!

God bless you all as you draw closer to our Lord this Lent.

Jen said...

BTW, Tom Curran today talked about this very subject - our sins today affecting our Lord's suffering "then" - on his show. I don't remember the paragraph number from the CCC, but it's in there! ;)