Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reflections on Making Lent Meaningful to me.

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday and I celebrated with a pancake breakfast.  

Today I spent some time contemplating how to bring meaning to this years Lent season.

Lent is supposed to be a time of reflection on many levels. 

The level I most connect with is the late winter season of scarcity in agricultural societies.  The spring planting is still weeks away.  Stores are running low and homemakers are trying to figure out ways to make what little foods remain stretch till the first spring crops are ready for harvesting. Daily sacrifices are needed to make it through this time. 

We don't experience this hardship in our global world with foods transported in from warmer climates.   And yet this is a time to reflect on the nature of sacrifice.  

As a parent I feel that over the years I have made many sacrifices for my children and my family.  Sacrifices I was happy to make, sacrifices that I embraced for the greater good. 

Being estranged has made me aware of how much I have lost and how quickly what we take for granted can be taken away from us.  I don't feel I can give anything up for Lent, as I have already been deprived of too much. 

However I will strive to give up some of my hurt feelings. I will struggle to let go of my resentment. I will endeavor to let go of the grudges I have toward those who have hurt me.

I will strive to feel forgiveness in my heart for those who have hurt me. Every day I will pray to feel more forgiving.  

I will let go of my need to hold on to the past.  A past that I can not change.  

I will let go of my need to cling to pain that no longer serves me.  

I will let go of anger that prevents me from healing.  

I will let go of resentment and grievances.

I will let go of self blame.  

I will let go of all things that I can not control.  

I will let go of all the things that weigh me down.  

I will instead embrace that my life is filled with possibilities that I have not yet found. 

Here, as I stand facing the reality that those sacrifices of years gone by were deemed insufficient, I find that I have new perspective.   I understand better the the sacrifices others make.   I want to give credit to those who make sacrifices on a daily basis.  I want to honour them this year in a totally different manner. I want to honour them by expressing my gratitude for all the blessings in my life and by giving back to others by sharing of my time and my blessings. 

This year I have decided that I am not going to focus on giving up, instead I am going to focus on giving back.

#1    I will strive to do something nice for someone every day.  I will pay it forward every day for the next 40 days.  

 #2   I will strive everyday to think of something to be especially thankful for and count my blessings.  I will remember to honour all those who contribute to 
society and make my life a little bit better. 

#3  I will forgive everyone who asks me for forgiveness and will gladly and willing atone for any wrongs I may 
have committed. 

Renate Dundys Marrello 

photo credits - as marked or unknown 

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