Preparing for Lent

By Kim Roberts

With the conclusion of Mardi Gras, and all its fun and festivities and family activities, it is time for penance and Lent.

I have been a mother for 26 years and, reflecting back, I am not sure that I have set an enthusiastic example for my children for Lent as I did for Mardi Gras.

We spend days on the parade route enjoying time together, parades, food and camaraderie with friends, which is important to do as a family, but shouldn’t we approach lent in much the same matter. Probably, without all the food and drinking though.

So, this year, I’ve decided to make a plan that will keep the end goal in mind. Mardi Gras is a means to an end – a road to Lent if you will. In addition to the obligatory giving food up and getting ashes on our foreheads, I’m going to encourage my family to do more – to look at Lent as a time to challenge ourselves and focus on Jesus and how we can better our selves spiritually.

I’m going to suggest – adding to our prayer lives and reading the Bible, maybe a passage a day; increasing time spent in prayer and asking for increased faith and clarity; in addition to Sunday Mass, adding another day of Mass to our routine.

This year instead of giving up something we eat, I am going to suggest limiting time on social media, the cell phone or television. I’m not talking huge amounts of time, but any amount of time spent away from our devices and with each other or reading would be beneficial.

While the easy way to approach Lent is to give up food, now that my kids are older, I hope they can dig a little deeper and grow their relationship with God.

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