Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenten update

I knew it was going to be incredibly difficult.

But I thought I would try it anyway. Giving up foods, drinks, television, etc. doesn't even phase me. But take away the comfort of my bed, and I become weak. Weak in a good way. Weak enough to know how addicted to comfort I really am, and how I might subtly prefer my own comfort to doing what God asks of me in my daily tasks.

So here I am this Lent. Giving up the one thing that I love...sleep...in order to "pummel my body and subdue it" so that I may grow in the dual call to charity, loving God and neighbor with a more perfect ardor.

How's it been going, you might ask?

Hmm....

Day one: Got up, prayed, blogged, felt really motivated, did everything well. I must say I was pleased with myself. Pride cometh...you know.

Day two: Got up, prayed, did some exercises, saw my husband still in bed, and decided to snuggle (after all, he does need my love to keep him warm). Fell back asleep. Blah.

Day three: Got up, prayed, drifted to sleep while praying, and gave up after 45 minutes of a painful battle of trying to stay awake. This is the day I realize how big of a nothing I am. Boy, can I relate to Peter and the Apostles in the garden. Here was their Lord, about to lay down His life for them and the whole world, and they couldn't even keep their eyes open. I bet they felt like real losers too!

Humility hurts.

Day four and beyond: I have since amended my Lenten sacrifice to rise at 5 am only during the week. Realistically, I need the weekends to recover. I have also found that praying first thing in the morning does not facilitate the waking up process, so I am adding a 30-minute burst on the treadmill to jolt me into action. Prayer will follow.Tried it this morning and it worked like a charm!

It's funny, because I once heard someone say that putting prayer first thing in the morning ensures that we are giving God our best. Clearly, my best was not happening then, so in keeping with the truth that grace builds on nature, I will go to God with a clear head AFTER I wake up my body.

3 comments:

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Thanks...cause I'm a loser falling asleep in the garden, too.

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  2. Sleep isn't the only problem; I am very good at having my eyes open, but brain dead, and the words of prayers I read of speak are forgotten almost as fast as they go through my mind. I found, last Lent, that the early treadmill was an eye-opener also --- and I lost 15 pounds (most of which, unfortunately, I subsequently found).

    I am committed to exercise more this Lent again (not doing too well there), giving up coffee, meat, and alcohol (doing well on those), but I find this Lent that God is putting people in my path who need Him, and I am offering myself as His poor substitute. I think that is the sacrifice He asks of me this Lent, not the petty things I might do for myself.


    Giving up doing the stupid things I do is one thing, doing the wise things He would bid me do is another. I pray for Wisdom, and I pray the Prayer of St. Francis. I think He answers our prayers, especially during Lent, but so often the answers are difficult. And all this reminds us of His sufferings --- and sacrifices. And even just hearing the reminders makes this a good Lent.

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    Grace, Redemption and Peace!

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