Rising up Protestant, Lent simply was not a lot of a factor in my residence.
I noticed banners for the Friday Fish Fry on the native Catholic Church, and McDonald’s would promote their fish sandwiches, however since I didn’t take pleasure in seafood it was straightforward for Lent to go me by. Once I entered the Church as an grownup, I admit I discovered the menu of attainable Lenten practices to undertake as a household overwhelming. Fasting, rising prayer, paying nearer consideration to almsgiving, giving up sweets, meats, alcohol, and social media, all whereas making an attempt to simplify and draw nearer to God was not simply carried out. As a mom of babies, I used to be fortunate to maintain us all on observe every day in peculiar time, not to mention drag all of them right into a season of penance and sacrifice!
Because the years have handed, nevertheless, there are a number of easy issues now we have carried out to mark the season and reside otherwise for the 40 days main as much as Easter, permitting us all to enter into Lent deliberately and with out trepidation.
Primarily, Lent is about simplifying and creating area for God and for a deeper relationship with Him. The Church has centered on three features of Lent: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. The assorted seasons of life could permit for us to place a deeper concentrate on one side or one other, however small steps in all of those three areas will be nice beginning factors for making the Lenten season a particular one for you and your loved ones.
The apply of fasting can dominate the minds of many throughout Lent. In actuality, the Church asks that these individuals between the ages of 18-59 observe the 2 days of precise fasting (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday). Moreover, solely these kids 14 and older are required to abstain from consuming meat on Fridays throughout Lent. As a result of these observances are obligatory for adults solely, it may be urged that your kids quick from one thing else on Fridays throughout Lent. My kids have little or no say any day what they really eat, so any abstaining by them is finished extra as a sensible results of having the adults and youths abstain quite than as a private sacrifice.
Giving up their favourite issues for the whole thing of Lent, nevertheless, is one thing that ought to be child-led, quite than carried out out of obligation.
The purpose of fasting is to detach oneself spiritually and encounter a deeper union with the Lord. It’s to put aside some side of your day as a sacrifice. It isn’t designed to make us sad.
Adopting a particular apply of prayer throughout Lent is a ravishing method to develop into open to a deeper relationshiop with the Lord. The Church doesn’t require particular practices, and it’s good to keep in mind that prayer is solely a dialog with the Lord. As we undertake issues like fasting, we’re in a position to unite these sacrifices in prayer.
Merely including an extra prayer every day throughout Lent will be one method to develop as a household. Beginning the break day collectively in prayer or ending it in a particular method collectively can unite the household and open all of them to extra deeply obtain God’s love.
Modeling is an excellent method of educating within the residence. If you’re including a particular time of prayer every day, share that with your loved ones and even invite them to affix you. You might be stunned by their willingness when it’s introduced as a selection quite than an edict.
Whereas prayer and fasting are a bit extra obscure, the apply of almsgiving is one thing by which kids of all ages can simply be concerned. Almsgiving is a apply of giving extra generously of our time, skills, and bodily choices. We have now had experiences prior to now working with the homeless, cleansing out closets for these in want, making meals baggage to supply to these on the streets, and making playing cards for shut-ins or these in group dwelling circumstances. We all know households who’ve adopted households throughout this time and held lemonade stands to boost cash for these in want. This can be a fantastic method for the household to participate in an exercise that’s child-led.
Simplicity has been the important thing for our household as we enter into Lent. There’s nice pleasure that comes from working towards gratitude and serving to others. I need my kids to sit up for Lent as a time of peace and maybe extra reflective quiet, quite than as a time of grumpiness and no sweets.
Could you enter into this season with a spirit of give up and anticipation of the graces that stream throughout this time. Maybe as your kids develop they may start to see Lent as a time of giving of the self in pleasure, and rising in closeness to the Lord, quite than solely a time of struggling.