A Catholic Journey...

Welcome! I invite you to follow and share my spiritual journey into the Catholic Faith. I am using this blog to share my studies and musings on converting to Catholicism.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

First Lent, thoughts and advice welcomed!

Good morning on this first day of my first lent.  I am not actually a catholic yet, but I will be easter weekend.  This is my trial run.  Alex and Serena are off to mass this morning, I am going to the 7pm mass with my RCIA class.  I still don't really feel like I have the whole picture of what lent is all about.  Here is what I know:
I know it is a time for prayer and repentance and contemplation
I know that it is 40 days, it ends on Holy thursday, we abstain from meat on fridays (and today) and we are supposed to give up something to be more like Jesus.
I know Jesus went into the desert.

I was looking in my bible this morning to see if I could find some stuff to help me out, I figured the new testament, one of the gospels, I picked Luke, and in chapter 4 "The Temptation of Jesus", Jesus says that "you shall not put the Lord, your god, to the test".  Here the devil was tempting him and testing him.  I sort of get it, I see that we should just trust god.  Any thoughts on this?  In Matthew's account he also says "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God".  For me this makes sense of why we fast, to try to overcome your bodily hunger and get in touch with your soul and focus on god and not ourselves.

I have a Pocket Book of Catholic Prayers that I bought HERE on Amazon.  It has prayers for everything and even info on the mass.  The lent prayers are a prayer to be freed of the 7 deadly sins, a prayer of contrition, a prayer to know Jesus Christ and a prayer to appreciate mass.  This gives me some insight into what I am to focus on during this Lenten season.  Also, our songs we practice in choir are much more somber and contemplative, even sad.  I think for me, I just need to spend this lent learning and getting ready for my confirmation.  I have been doing that, but this is "go time" and I need to really focus.  I would like to try to pray the rosary at least once a day.  That is a goal I think I can accomplish and I really think it will help with my studies.

Oh, and I will finally get to go to confession, right before my confirmation.  Confessing your sins is a big part of lent too.

Also, the big question, what am I giving up?  Facebook.  I saw it on another blog and thought it was appropriate for me, since I spend too much time looking at what others are doing in their day and not focusing on mine.

So, I would say "Happy Lent", but I know that that is not appropriate.  What do we say to others during this season?


  1. I have to tell you how much I appreciate your blog, and your honesty.

    The cool thing about Lent is, you don't have to know what it's all about to participate in it.

    As you go through the RCIA scrutinies, things will slowly come into place. You'll also soon find out that a lot of the more experienced Catholics will be a little jealous of the growth you'll experience.

    Various people will tell you about different themes for Lent; and they're all appropriate. The one that hits home for me is simplification and reduction. Going without the things I really don't need, so that I can focus more on what I really do need: God. This is reflected in the liturgy- things will be simpler with less externals, so that we can focus on the Word, the Eucharist, and the cross.

    I think it's OK to say "Happy Lent." While it's a season of discipline, it ultimately leads us to joy, the kind that will never end.

    And now of course, a shameless plug for my own blog:

  2. Lenten blessings to you and your beautiful family,
    God Bless.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing from the heart. I was born Catholic, left (not knowing what I had) and returned. So, growing up that way, everything was familiar. But, there was a lot to learn--things I was not taught or didn't pay attention to, or was too young to fully understand.

    I think you have a good grasp of what Lent is; a good starting point. But, Lent really has to be experienced to be understood, and each year, if you keep studying, learning, listening, etc. your understanding will grow.

    It's a little like asking someone to explain their relationship to their spouse, or to Jesus for that matter. It's personal. Where God leads one person is not where He leads another. You have to enter into the relationship and that relationship will grow and change.

    The beauty of Lent (and Advent and Easter and Ordinary Time) is that, while personal, it's also corporate. Everyone is sacrificing something in order to draw closer to God. Everyone is trying to deepen that relationship and become more and more the body of Christ we are called to be, each with their own purpose in that body.

    The three pillars of Lent are: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. If you keep those in mind, you can't go wrong.

    I'll keep you in my prayers during this time of growth and pray that you will, as G. K. Chesterton once said, find the Church bigger on the inside than it was on the outside.