Don't you love going to Mass and hearing a homily that not only confirms some thought or inclination you had before you sat down, but also encourages you further along the path? I do!
The message couldn't have been clearer if Father had hit me over the head with a gefilte fish. Husband and I have been brainstorming ways to focus the children (and ourselves) on prayer, penance and alms giving during this Lenten season. Then the waffling began. Mine, not Husband's. Can they do these things? Will they really get it? Will it really make a diference? Most importantly, how tough is this going to be on me? (Yeah, I am THAT selfish.)
But then...inspiration hit!...Father Peter, that is and he passed it along to us (thankfully, without the use of any fish). His whole homily was about uniting ourselves to the Blessed Mother at the foot of the cross through prayer, penance and alms giving.
Got it Father.
Here we go.
I will elaborate more on some of these ideas later, but here are our plans for right now:
1. Prayer - We have always said the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a family during Lent. We will continue to do this but in order to unite ourselves to the Blessed Mother we are also going to learn to sing the Stabat Mater. We will see how many verses we get through.
2. Penance - The form of fasting we require of the children is simply "no treats". We do not deny them snacks in between meals, but limit them to healthy snacks, only.
3. Almsgiving - We have come up with a list of chores that are above and beyond the daily chores we ask of them. The list will be posted in a prominent area. They have the opportunity to earn $0.50 per day by performing two of these chores. The catch is that we will not be reminding them. They can remind each other and encourage each other, but it shouldn't be done at our request, rather of their own choosing. The money will be collected in a jar and donated after Easter to a charity of their choosing.
Each of these things will be "checked off" in a specific way each night. Those details are for another post. Only two days left. Gotta run!