Color of the Day
Muffins, Snow and Paczki ...

The Loveliness of Lent

Nissa has done a wonderful job putting together today's Loveliness of Lent! Please Lives_of_loveliness_logo_200612_9stop by her beautiful blog Simple Gifts to be guided through a collection of posts exploring the meaning of this sacred season. Also, don't forget to check in with her other blog, These Forty Days, for further inspiration all throughout Lent. Thank you so much, Nissa!

As I continue my own Lenten preparations this week, my head is swimming with ideas, but what I really want to do is keep it simple. Not just for practical reasons, but for spiritual reasons as well. Its the very theme of Lent isn't it? To hold ourselves back from the excess and commit to the simple but true.

I'd like to share this passage considering Lent in a lovely British festival book called All Year Round:

"Easter is very much a morning festival - the women disciples came to the tomb 'very early in the morning.' To be properly awake to what the morning can bring, we need to have had a 'good night.' We need to have spent some time in our own quiet darkness away from the outer stimulation, in that mysterious space which is yet familiar - a space which is, above all, restorative.

That is what Lent could be for all of us, a time during which we gather the forces needed to meet the vital renewal of our daily lives. For young children, who carry the joy of life so close to them anyway, their pleasure in the fullness of Easter Day can only be greater if they have been prepared through the quiescent 'night' mood of Lent.

Because of this we must consider carefully how to lead a child through this time before Easter ...

In what ways can we develop an appropriate Lenten mood for a young child? We could sit together for a few minutes each morning, listening in silence as the birdsong gains strength from the ebb of the night. We could take time to watch for the moon as it unfolds its rhythmic process between darkness and light ... if an unlit candle stands on the dining table each day instead of flowers, this can make a very deep impression ... A special herb tea could be chosen just for this time of Lent: these may seem small matters, but it is so often the small things that need attention.

If a bowl of dry earth (mixed, perhaps, with a pinch of ash) is prepared on Ash Wednesday, and stands barren on the seasonal table until Palm Sunday, this simple picture will have time to be well 'digested' by the child. Then, if grass seed is sown in the same bowl on Palm Sunday (or grain is sprinkled there on Maundy Thursday), and watered well, the contrasting picture of the transformed earth on Easter Day will stand out all the more."

Have a blessed day!