Jan asks at RevGals:
1. Oddly this year, the second day of
Lent was Valentine's Day. How was this for you? Was Valentine's Day any
different being in Lent? Nope. There were opportunities to eat chocolate and donuts, but I was already eschewing those, so no difference.
2. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday this year? Any memories of memorable celebrations past? I managed to find and wear my Mardi Gras beads to work, and that was pretty much my observation. Usually I'm at a pancake supper, but see above.
3. How about Ash Wednesday, past and/or present? This year I was home on the couch feeling horrible, although I'd planned to go to church for the 7 pm service. I hate to miss that service; it means a lot to me, so I read through the liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer and called myself to a holy Lent:
devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and
it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a
season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided
a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy
Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of
notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful
were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to
the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation
was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set
forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all
Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the
observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance;
by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and
meditating on God's holy Word. And, to make a right beginning
of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now
kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.
4. Do you have a personal plan of give-ups, take-ons, special ministries, and/or a special focus for your own spiritual growth between now and Easter? There's something private I'm doing. Also, I'm writing daily prayers thanks to Rachel Hackenberg's prompts, and I'm reading the Sermon on the Mount each day. There's a group on FB doing the latter, and so far I find that pulling it out of my bag and giving a read each day is illuminating. I'll have to let you know how it feels after 40 days.
5. Do you have a book or a website you are reading often during Lent? Lent Madness! I pray both collects daily.