What to Do When Lent Is Looming 

Mary Schaad // Tales From the Trenches


February 10  

I will admit, when I opened my old-fashioned paper planner to February, I let out a groan when I saw how close Ash Wednesday was. Not only does it mark the beginning of Lent, but it is a day of fasting and a long Mass with my three kids, which is guaranteed to equal a hard day for mom. There was no inner joy in the thought of how much closer to Christ I will grow, which makes me feel like a horrible Catholic mom. I should happily be planning Lenten activities and sacrifices for us all. But no, I am thinking, “We just got through the year 2020, haven’t we suffered enough?” No Catholic mom-of-the-year award for me with that attitude. When I look at the looming forty days and nights ahead my attitude is along the lines of, How quickly can I get through this?

In my Magnificat readings and the meditations, the message that has been coming through to me is that all we need is Jesus. When Christ sent the apostles out two by two into the villages, he told them not to bring anything. That is because all they needed was him and his word. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus says, when being tempted by the devil, Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Getting caught up in the sacrifices and activities that come with Lent can be a trap for Catholic moms. We often feel like we have to keep up with what all the other moms of the blog-sphere are doing because, if we do not, we are doing a bad job. Please tell me I am not the only one who compares herself this way? This Lent I am going to not try to compare myself to others and see how many sacrifices that I can make, but rather just focus on filling myself up with Christ and his word because, as he said, that is all I need.

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