Monday, March 30, 2015

Did Lent Even Happen This Year?

This is the question I keep asking myself. Is this really Holy Week? Did Lent really happen this year? 

I don't know why, but it feels like Lent flew by yet again. We only have a couple more days of Lent! Then, my most favorite liturgical season of the year: the Triduum!!!! Over the past couple days, some of my friends and I have been discussing this. We all feel like Lent sped by. Did we do what we planned in Lent? Did we actually grow? Are we ready for Easter? Because I know that God hasn't exactly appeared to me in a thunderstorm with a message of "AnneMarie, you succeeded at Lent and are now ready for Easter." But, God doesn't exactly roll like that, either. Take a look:

"Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake;
after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave." (1 Kings 19:11-13)

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this Lent, God chose to come in the still, small voice. In each person that He brought across my path. In each small mortification that He introduced into my day. In each small set of prayers I prayed. In each bit of suffering I encountered. This Lent, I wasn't trying to meet a certain quota of prayers or sacrifice (you know, when you think: "woops! Missed praying the Chaplet yesterday, guess I blew Lent completely!"). Instead, I wanted to focus myself on sacrifice, mercy, love, and prayer. Did I focus as well as I could have? Probably not, but I'm giving it all to God, regardless. And now that I'm in the final stretch of Lent, I'm really going to give everything I have in a sprint to Easter.

So what will I do for this Holy Week? 

Rededicate myself to sacrifice, prayer, and silence. I want to intensify all that I've been doing for Lent, and really immerse myself in the sacrificial epicness of the week.

Pray the Stations. Tonight, for the first time, I am attending the Living Stations on campus. I don't know why I've never gone before, I just haven't gotten around to it. So tonight, I will change that. Also, I will continue my Lenten practice of praying the Divine Mercy Way of the Cross (I really like this way of praying the Stations! It's super epic.).

Go to the epic Holy Week things. Every year, the Schola Cantorum here at FUS sings Tenebrae (on Spy Wednesday, the day before Holy Thursday), which is truly beautiful and epic. It is a wonderful way to prayerfully enter into the Triduum. Holy Thursday Mass and the Good Friday service are both amazing, and even though they aren't Holy Days of Obligation, I everyone to try and make it. I mean, this is the sacrifice of Christ we're talking about--that's pretty much a gigantic deal. Yes, it's a struggle to stay awake and alert for these sometimes, but it's a beautiful sacrifice for Christ.

Go to the Easter Vigil. I love the Vigil! Love it so much! It's really fantastic and amazing, especially after a very intense Holy Week!

Cast myself into the merciful heart of Christ. Because we all need God's mercy.

And on that note, here's a great quotation from St. Faustina's Diary to keep close to your heart this week:

One of my top-favorite
images of Christ! 
"A single act of pure love pleases Me more than a thousand imperfect prayers.  One of your sighs of love atones for many offenses with which the godless overwhelm Me.  The smallest act of virtue has unlimited value in My eyes because of your great love for Me.  In a soul that lives on My love alone, I reign as in heaven." (Diary of St. Faustina #1489, the words of Christ)

Have a beautiful Holy Week and Triduum!

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