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Anyone else thinking about Lent?


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For those of us in the west, it starts in a week. I'm grateful to actually be thinking about it this far ahead of time - it's caught me by surprise so often!

 

Anyway, I'm still not sure what all we're going to be doing, but I've got the Lenten calendar from Catholic Icing printed out for the kids, and though I'm not sure what I'm giving up, I know what I'm taking on: some Bible memorization - I don't know if I'll manage to finish the whole thing during Lent, but I'd like to tackle John 14-17. (Well, we're going vegetarian, but we always do that, so it doesn't seem like any great shakes.) I've been reading this book on scripture memorization and finding it very inspirational.

 

Just curious if anyone else here is pondering it, because I know there's a fair amount of liturgical Christians on the board. If you feel free to share, what are your plans? Especially, if your kids observe it in any way, what are you doing with them? Anyone got any good books they're planning on reading through/meditating on? I'm feeling the urge to read lots of Donne and Herbert . . . "welcome, dear feast of Lent!"

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We're eastern Christians, not western, but is it okay for me to post? We have begun the Lenten preparations already; for the four weeks before Lent officially begins (I've heard it called "preparing to prepare"). Part of Lent for the Orthodox is dietary: we fast from meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and oil for the 40 days before Pascha, and this week we started by removing meat from our diet. We also focus on praying more and giving more during this time leading up to Pascha.

 

The biggest thing we can do is to attend services, I think. Is this true in the West as well? (We were never part of a liturgical western church so I do not know). They increase greatly during the Lenten fast, and since our theology lives in the prayers and services of the church, the best way for us to learn is to simply be there. For example, this Sunday we have "Forgiveness Vespers" in Orthodoxy. After the Vespers service, we will all go around and individually ask for forgiveness from each person who is this there, for the offenses or what-have-you from the past year (and ever). This begins the official Lenten period, the next day.

 

In home, we have been reading Alexander Schmemann's book The Great Fast. I also read this article, Preparing for the Greatest Journey, which was a great foundational piece to read before we begin.

 

We are a part of a smaller mission church currently, with priests who come up from a larger church that's 45 minutes away for the weekend services. During Lent, and especially Holy Week and for Pascha itself, we don't have all the extra services at our mission, so we drive to the larger church as much as we can. BUT we are in the process (it looks like) of getting our own priest, and so next year I imagine we'll do it all locally and I'm so looking forward to it!

Edited by milovaný
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Yesteray dd9 asked if she should give up our nightly prayer for Lent :lol: Um, no, honey...

 

Hee, hee. That's great!

 

In home, we have been reading Alexander Schmemann's book The Great Fast. I also read this article, Preparing for the Greatest Journey, which was a great foundational piece to read before we begin.

 

 

Oh, I'm so glad you posted! I only mentioned the western Christians because that's what I know, and I wasn't sure if it'd be timely for those in the East, since our calendars don't always match.

 

We don't have as many extra services - Ash Wednesday is extra, and then there isn't a lot extra till Holy Week, when there's a lot.

 

Thank you for the link; I'm going to go read it now.

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We are going to be traveling a lot, including Disney, so there goes my unrefined white sugar idea for this year:lol:

 

I am thinking that I am going to give up snapping at my children. I have a dd who is about to turn 4, and she is really trying my patience. I have found that I am raising my voice or snapping one to two times a day at the moment, and I really need to work on that. I am going to pray a lot and see if I can go through all of lent without raising my voice or snapping at anyone (down to the dog). Going along with that, I am also going to say one really nice and thoughtful thing a day to both of my children and my husband. Not the routine "good job" but think of something specific everyday that I appreciate about each of them. We are going to do this as a family during morning prayer each day.

 

I am trying to get my ds to give up pokemon for lent. I am not sure about dd. She is only 3, I don't know if she will get it this year, we might wait until next year for her.

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Oh, I'm so glad you posted! I only mentioned the western Christians because that's what I know, and I wasn't sure if it'd be timely for those in the East, since our calendars don't always match.

 

True! I forgot about that. This year we do have the same date for Pascha (Apr. 24).

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We are on the threshold of becoming Catechumen's in EO (been inquireers for about 10 weeks) This year we are just going meatless, for the Lenten fast. It should be interesting!!!!

 

Really we are just getting used to the rthymn of things. So, we will be attending a lot of the special services as we continue to get the feel for Orthodoxy.

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True! I forgot about that. This year we do have the same date for Pascha (Apr. 24).

Lent will be prep for baby LOL! I'm due on Pascha!

 

The kids were just having this conversation...of course, they were being silly at first. They want to give up homework, brushing teeth, food we rarely eat or they already don't like, etc. Nope, told them it has to be things like sweets, tv, computer time, etc. They are working on figuring it out for themselves ;)

 

I will probably continue reading The Great Lent, which I started last year.

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We are meatless about 5 days a week, so that's no help. I always say "I'm giving up smoking, drinking and wild living" since I never do any of those.

 

There is some talk about giving up dessert during lent (suggested by my DD 6 who probably won't really want to stick to that).

 

I remember giving up candy when I was a kid. It was hard, but made Easter so much better.

 

I guess I need to think about this before next week.

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we fast from meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and oil for the 40 days before Pascha

 

That sounds very healthy. I bet that in areas where this is strictly observed, the amount of illness (heart attacks, arthritis, kidney problems, etc.) goes way down.

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For the past few years I have given up the internet, I believe I will be doing that again. I think I will be giving up chocolate as well.

 

As far as prayers, devotions and etc to add I haven't decided. Dh and I need to talk about that. I think we will add another Mass attendance for the week. I have the Imitation of Christ coming and would like to read that during Lent, I am already reading through the Bible and Catechism. We need to make our nightly rosary MUCH more regular. Hopefully, it will be a time to start and solidify some good habits around here.

 

Thanks to pp for linking the Catholic Icing site, off to check it now.

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Not sure what I'm going to do. I am just finishing a Beth Moore study on Esther; I'll have one day more of that into Lent. I don't really want to undertake another long or involved study.

 

We have extra services on Weds and a supper/teaching time, so study is covered (plus I'm doing Psalms in Sunday School). I just don't know--I like giving up, but I also like taking on.

 

I always mess up my Lenten discipline--it hasn't been until recently that I figured out the "mess up" is an opportunity for God to reach me and teach me about his sufficiency.

 

Me: "Arggh! I can't do this!"

God: "Dingdingding! We have a winner! Tell her what she's won!!!"

 

:D

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Have been thinking about it for a couple of weeks but I am focusing on getting through Odyssey of the Mind (Saturday) so we can then begin 'Lent.'

 

We will probably say a Rosary every night, DS10 will be an Altar Server at morning Mass so we will be attending Mass, and we will sit and talk before next Wednesday about what else we will be doing.

 

I'm interested in seeing if anyone here has any interesting reading that we can do.:bigear:

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We bought this a couple of months ago and are SO excited to get started:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Amons-Adventure-Family-Story-Easter/dp/0825441714

 

\

 

me too! We loved the other books during advent. My basement flooded last week and my head is full of snot today so I haven't really done much thinking about Lent. I'd like to make a King's Cake out of cinnamon rolls next week. That's as far as I am.

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We are on the threshold of becoming Catechumen's in EO (been inquireers for about 10 weeks) This year we are just going meatless, for the Lenten fast. It should be interesting!!!!

 

Really we are just getting used to the rthymn of things. So, we will be attending a lot of the special services as we continue to get the feel for Orthodoxy.

 

Very cool! I've been wondering where your spiritual journey has been leading you. :)

 

To answer Milovany, daily Mass attendance is encouraged for Catholics during Lent. We have usually attended most days and it is a beautiful way to prepare. There's also Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings in Lent. There's often a soup get together at parishes ahead of time. Usually the same meditations are used each week, but some churches do different meditations each week. One of our favorites, which can be done at home as a family as well, is the one based on Blessed Mother's experiences. Here it is online:

 

http://www.stisidore-yubacity.org/maryswayofcross.htm

 

Britomart I have been thinking about Lent a lot this year, which is unusual for me as it usually sneaks up on me too. Maybe it being later in the year has helped with that somewhat. Thank you for starting this thread - some great ideas here. :)

Edited by Teachin'Mine
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I picked up several new books from Amazon and we are using a lenten activity book. I would really like to give up meat. cheese, butter, and oil, but I need recipes!

 

The kids are giving up any treats and I am extremely limiting screen time. We are always increasing family prayer time.

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Very cool! I've been wondering where your spiritual journey has been leading you. :)

 

 

 

Thanks! There has been quite a few starts and stops, issues I needed to wrap my heart and brain around. So far this seems like the best fit. Right now we take it a week at a time, and during Lent....a day at a time ;).

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We are on the threshold of becoming Catechumen's in EO (been inquireers for about 10 weeks) This year we are just going meatless, for the Lenten fast. It should be interesting!!!!

 

Really we are just getting used to the rthymn of things. So, we will be attending a lot of the special services as we continue to get the feel for Orthodoxy.

Don't let Lent scare you away. I remember dh's first full Lenten participation. It was fun to see it all through someone else's eyes. I had a lot of explaining to do every evening of Holy Week especially during the Triduum.

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We don't have as many extra services - Ash Wednesday is extra, and then there isn't a lot extra till Holy Week, when there's a lot.

 

 

Many people go to add daily mass to their Lenten routine (if they don't already do so.) Also, our parish always has a mission during lent and some extra prayers services. We also have weekly Stations of the Cross.

 

I am trying to add more of these. We will be doing an extra daily mass each week, plus a devotional study at home. I am sponsoring an RCIA candidate so this Lent is extra special for me.

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I have changed my mind, after long chats with ds, I am giving up fb and he is giving up pokemon!

 

I am going to work on not raising my voice or snapping at the kids, he is going to work on being a better listener and more patience with his little sister.

 

We are going to do morning prayer EVERY day, and take turns saying something nice and meaningful about each member of the family.

 

What would be a good thing for a 3(almost 4 year old?) or is she just too young?

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We are in the process of converting to RC, so this will be our first time observing Lent as a family.

 

As a family, we are giving up all "screen time" which includes, tv, internet, and video games. We are adding in daily family rosary.

 

My ds(11) said yesterday that he couldn't wait for Lent because we would have more family time. This coming from a kid who has an IPod Touch, PSP, DS, Wii, and Gamecube.

 

I'm not sure what I will be giving up personally. I might need chocolate to deal with my withdrawal from the internet. :lol:

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I am adding a healthier lifestyle, daily meditation and weekly family prayer. We will also be doing stations of the cross on Fridays.

 

We will be giving up meat on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

I think for me personally I'm going to give up an hour of sleep every morning.

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As a Protestant (Presbyterian/Reformed), I hope I'm also welcome on this thread.

 

I'm going to be reading through Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross.

 

The children and I are going to work on Lenten/Easter related Bible Memory (Maybe Ps 22, but maybe something else?) during Circle Time (instead of Gen 1 which we've been working on *forever*) We'll also be working on the hymns Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted and Up From the Grave He Arose as we prepare for things we may sing in worship.

 

We may read through Noel Piper's Lenten Lights.

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As a Protestant (Presbyterian/Reformed), I hope I'm also welcome on this thread.

 

I'm going to be reading through Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross.

 

The children and I are going to work on Lenten/Easter related Bible Memory (Maybe Ps 22, but maybe something else?) during Circle Time (instead of Gen 1 which we've been working on *forever*) We'll also be working on the hymns Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted and Up From the Grave He Arose as we prepare for things we may sing in worship.

 

We may read through Noel Piper's Lenten Lights.

 

Of course you are!!! :D

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We bought this a couple of months ago and are SO excited to get started:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Amons-Adventure-Family-Story-Easter/dp/0825441714

 

\

 

 

We're going to read this too!

 

I'm thinking about the sacrifice of "me time" in terms of relationships this Lent. I was inspired by a Sacrificial Hospitality blog post. We often do a theme for school too.

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"Lenten is come with love to town!" (Barbara Pym)

 

We'll be doing the whole Orthodox Lent: vegan fast, confession, trying to forgive, self-examination, more dedication to praying at home, and many beautiful church services! I personally am also going to fast from WTM boards and coffee. (bleah without milk) DK are not going to do a very strict vegan fast.

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This year I am going to work on honoring the Lord with my body. I eat OK - it could be worse and there's TONS of room for improvement - but this Lent DH and I are going to be really specific about what we eat. We're working on simple, whole foods. I am going to try and be a megan - mostly vegan. I can't say totally vegan since that's a little unrealistic, but mostly. My blueprint is Eat to Live with a little reality thrown in to keep me on track. We'll see how it goes. I am excited and enthusiastic (and actually started today - blueberry smoothie with almond milk and protein powder for breakfast. Not simple with the powder, but wanted to use it up and see if it added a little bulk and kept me full for the morning.).

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We're Lutheran... We have extra services during the week - and especially during Holy Week. We start with the Ash Wednesday service.

 

I'm going to try for daily Scripture reading with the kids...and I will be going through the Catechism with them before school. I'm currently doing the whole "read through the entire Bible in one year".

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So far, we will be giving something up - probably sweets for me. We each choose what to give up since we have different weaknesses.

 

We will attend Friday morning masses & adoration, and pray the rosary on a more consistent basis. We will also try to continue these after Lent too. Our goal is to make permanent whatever good habit or virture we practiced during Lent.

 

Not sure what I will read - I'm looking for something. I will be pulling together some activities and crafts for the kids. Maybe I can quickly order one of the retreat books from CHC for the kids.

 

Thanks for starting this thread. Lots of good ideas here.

Denise

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We really don't give anything up. Well. I take that back. Me I need to watch my potty mouth. So will have a swear jar and donate the money to something.

 

We usually take something up. James and I will be reading "Little Pilgrim's Progress" adapted by Helen Taylor for kids and doing Kay Arthur's bible study "God What's Your Name? .

 

I'll be reading Pope Benedict's The Apostles and 12 Extraordinary Woman by John Macarthur.

 

I also came up with an idea given to me by the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. She calls for a week of reading deprivation. I'll take it one step further and utilize it during lent and have an totally unplugged day, once a week - no technology, no reading.

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We are preparing. Easter is my favorite time of year and though we attend a typical protestant church that doesn't really think about Lent, we've always held the children since our children were small. Since dh and I were unexposed to it as youngsters, our first experience was when I was teaching at a Lutheran school. So, we are kind of Western in that we don't eat meat on Fridays. My eldest is considering giving up his computer completely for Lent and he is a computer geek. But, he's also working on a visual basic program as part of his academics so he would be behind schedule with his dad, by a long ways, if he waited until April 25th to begin working on it again. Either dad is going to have to adjust his school schedule, ds is going to have to think of something else that is as meaningful to him, or they will have to agree to my compromise which is: computer games. Ds has two computer games, Combat Flight Simulator and Plants vs. Zombies (totally silly, innocent, and hilarious game) that he loves to play and if he does his Wii fit, has his school work done, and completes his chores, he is allowed a round of each one every day. Since he loves them so much, I think it is a suitable compromise.

 

Mommaduck! I think it is so precious that you are due on Pascha and I hope you won't be disappointed if you go into labor that day and miss out on worship. I think that a baby born on Easter, new life, new hope, would be wonderful.

 

Since we aren't anywhere near an EO church and are still in seeking mode, we'll hobble along the best we can. Evening family devotions, lit candles, reading from the Gospels, the book of Isaiah, etc. prayers, personal sharing - I'm really looking forward to it.

 

I do have a question. If we were to ever convert, I would have a major health problem going 40 days with the dietary restrictions. I don't absorb iron well from non-meat sources (well documented by doctors) and would begin to have not only fatigue issues, but some concentration and memory issues plus blood clotting problems. I have a tendency to get very anemic, quite quickly. Is there a medical exemption for someone with a health problem? The new doc I'm working with would birth a cow if I restricted my heme sources of protein for 40 straight days.

 

Faith

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I gave up caffeine as of yesterday. Now, it is for some dietary reasons, but I have not had a day without coffee since I was about 15 years old, so this is HUGE for me.

 

I have to give up some other things too, but this is the largest for me.

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I do have a question. If we were to ever convert, I would have a major health problem going 40 days with the dietary restrictions. I don't absorb iron well from non-meat sources (well documented by doctors) and would begin to have not only fatigue issues, but some concentration and memory issues plus blood clotting problems. I have a tendency to get very anemic, quite quickly. Is there a medical exemption for someone with a health problem? The new doc I'm working with would birth a cow if I restricted my heme sources of protein for 40 straight days.

 

Faith

 

 

I think so, my priest has spoken of the exemptions the Church will make for health issues and he has said he "prescribes" the fast differently to different people who are just starting out. If you do ever convert, your best bet would be to talk with the priest. He will help you work it out best.

 

I know one family has so many allergies that the full fast would leave them with basically 3 things to eat, so he's helped them to approach Lent in a way that works for them.

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This year I am going to work on honoring the Lord with my body.

 

This is exactly what I am doing! I jokingly said to DH 'I'm giving up my body for Lent'.

 

I'm going to read my Bible every day during Lent, give up most sugar and dairy and chocolate, and exercise 5X week.

 

I say most sugar because I'm giving up blatant sugar, like ice cream, candy, etc. I'm not going to remove the teaspoon of sugar from this recipe, and not have ketchup cuz it has sugar, etc. Maybe I should just say no desserts.

 

And I'm limiting my internet time to email and 15 min of facebook in the morning and15 in the evening. That is how I communicate with most of my friends, so I can't give it up completely!

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Thank you Mrs. Basil. That was what I was hoping to hear. If an EO church is ever planted close enough (currently four hours away from one) that we could consider converting, I would like for my priest work with my doctor to make a plan that preserves my health, doesn't condemn me to choose to sin, and yet allows for me to participate in a meaningful way.

 

Faith

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Thank you Mrs. Basil. That was what I was hoping to hear. If an EO church is ever planted close enough (currently four hours away from one) that we could consider converting, I would like for my priest work with my doctor to make a plan that preserves my health, doesn't condemn me to choose to sin, and yet allows for me to participate in a meaningful way.

 

Faith

You are not alone. I can't fast due to health issue. It is perfectly acceptable. I do go the extra bit and give up something on fasting days. I don't need soda or tea to survive, but I do need healthy protein, carbs and veggies so I give up the soda, tea, sweets, and snacks.

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I do have a question. If we were to ever convert, I would have a major health problem going 40 days with the dietary restrictions. I don't absorb iron well from non-meat sources (well documented by doctors) and would begin to have not only fatigue issues, but some concentration and memory issues plus blood clotting problems. I have a tendency to get very anemic, quite quickly. Is there a medical exemption for someone with a health problem? The new doc I'm working with would birth a cow if I restricted my heme sources of protein for 40 straight days.

 

Faith

 

It's an ideal to reach for, but it's something that few (or those that are used to it) reach. Many do a modified fast based on their health or finances. Children are given milk, but not milkshakes ;) as several priests have been known to say. Fasting literally breaks our food budget financially if/when we've attempted the 40days of Lent and Winter Lent. So we just keep to our Wednesday and Friday fasting (which is a challenge for us as well). I'm anemic also. Pregnant women are not expected to fast (in fact, I nearly upset some yiayias this winter when I attempted before Christmas). Converts are generally (unless they are given permission by a priest that really thinks they can do it) also on a modified fast...you don't do it all at once! Baby steps! You will frustrate yourself otherwise. And if you have health issues, those are and must be taken into consideration. Again, this isn't a legalistic issue, but an individual one that is between your family and the priest. The written is the *ideal*...the ideal is a goal, not a must do this now and every time.

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Mommaduck! I think it is so precious that you are due on Pascha and I hope you won't be disappointed if you go into labor that day and miss out on worship. I think that a baby born on Easter, new life, new hope, would be wonderful.

 

Faith

 

On one hand, I'm thrilled. On the other, I really want to have this baby early, so that I can quit dealing with the PUPPs. Funny "MBFGW" type of thing...ladies at church hear I'm due on Pascha and I get told what I should name the baby! (sorry, baby already has a name and it's one that *I* can pronounce :lol: and represents more of my heritage aka I'm not Greek as much as I LOVE Greeks and their culture...this baby is getting a Greek nouna; they can be happy with that ;) )

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I am getting so excited. Yes, we will be fasting, and it is a reverential time, but for the first time in *many* years, Pascha/Easter is going to be something extra special to us. It always was Resurrection Sunday, a blessed time, but having given up things -it brings a certain joyful anticipation to the day.

 

We're very much looking forward to services, and our special Lenten activities. I'm reading the kids through the gospels that are appropriate, we're making a grapevine crown with thorns, and really digging into what the season means for us.

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I'm giving up chocolate - I feel like that is so cliche (and my husband is laughing at me) but seriously, I think I am both physically and psychologically addicted and giving it up is going to be a real sacrifice. I also want to eat more simply and give up bringing junk food into the house.

 

Hopefully add more prayer, but I know if I say I'm going to do too much I always crash and burn and do more damage than good. Daily mass would never work for us...I once won a haiku contest about how getting all my kids to mass leaves me needing confession, lol, and it's still true.

 

We'll be reading King of the Golden City for school - we try to do this at least every other Lent.

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