Lenten Ideas to Help Us Focus on and Become More Like Jesus

Here’s a wonderful post with ideas on Lent.

Fruitful Words

On Lent Eve (AKA Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) I ate pancakes and decided my Lenten plan. And I wrote about the following: When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for? (Question by Rachel Held.) On Lent Eve (AKA Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) I ate pancakes and decided my Lenten plan.  . . . .  And I wrote about the following: . . . . . When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for? (Question by Rachel Held Evans.)

I dabble in Lent. For the past 8 years I’ve done various things: given something up (social media, unnecessary spending), added something (usually a spiritual discipline), donated (money and items) to a good cause, and prayed more. I’m not of a liturgical bent, so I don’t really know what I am doing.

I never did well at fasting. I never spent extra time in confession. And come to think of it, many of my other attempts were also lame.

But I did these things to prepare myself for Easter. And while they were done imperfectly…

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Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude!” Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. Pope Francis’ book The Joy of the Gospel. I read a little each day and it uplifts and enlightens me. His writing is full of love, joy and wisdom.
  2. Health. With so much talk of the measles, I’m happy to be healthy and able to go out and visit my aunt.
  3. That I had the time and opportunity to finish my script and overcame the problems with my printer so that I could send it off to a television producer who agreed to read it. It takes a miracle to get something read and newcomers have such poor odds at breaking in to television so I’m thankful that someone would read it. Please pray for the story’s success.
  4. Pumpkin croissants. A new delectable breakfast treat from Trader Joe’s.
  5. The Great British Baking Show. It’s a wonderful program the whole family can watch. I’ve learned so much about baking–and creativity.

Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude!” Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. For the help provided by the North Shore Senior Center. My aunt’s new rehab center wants her to be moved on Sunday. It’s a shock as she’s still weak and needs physical therapy. She doesn’t have much money. I called this office and their insurance counselor gave me good information, i.e. that Medicare gives such patients at least 21 days of rehab. I’m so happy that our community has this resource. See if your community does. Our suburb’s small so this is a center that serves a few communities that have banded together.
  2. For Jane Austen’s Emma. It’s the book I’m reading for my book club in February. I love her writing.
  3. That people come together and help each other when it snows.
  4. For the vacation time I have to write and for the inspiration that ultimately comes from God.
  5. For an opportunity to reconnect with Japan through volunteering to interview candidates for the JET Program. I love getting to help and to reconnect with this wonderful program.

Deo Gratias


???????????????????????????????????????

Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • The caregivers who’re helping my aunt get better and caregivers the world over who provide kind, patient care.
  • A mild-ish winter.
  • The play, Rapture, Blister, Burn. I’m not sure it intended to, but it’s made me want to read Phyllis Shaffley’s work.
  • Warm apple cider – a great winter drink.
  • That my mother’s doing well in her recovery from back surgery and that my father is well and has taken on so much care-taking, which is outside his comfort zone.

Deo Gratias


???????????????????????????????????????

Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. That my aunt, whom I think was discharged too soon from the hospital, is out of the wretched rehab center with the slow-moving caregivers.
  2. That the doctor finally did something for my aunt’s back pain.
  3. For beef stew, a lovely winter comfort food.
  4. For Downton Abbey, which lets me escape into the world of elegant fashion and civility.
  5. For a major television actor-producer agreeing to read the script I’m working on.

Also, I welcome prayers for my aunt, she’s very frail at 82 years old. More of a concern is she has no faith, no religion.


Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. We found my aunt who may have had a heart attack and got her to the hospital. Not sure what happened, but she hadn’t answered the phone for a few days and was lying on her bedroom floor for a long time. (She doesn’t know or doesn’t want to say how long.)
  2. That my aunt’s getting good healthcare.
  3. For my friend Kristyn who came to visit the last 2 and a half days.
  4. For my friends Tundi and Kristi who are so wise and have already had to handle aging parents so they can understand and offer the wisdom needed.
  5. That it warmed up a bit today and we had sun.

Deo Gratias


???????????????????????????????????????

Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • A warm house on these cold days. It’s frigid outside and I know some people must battle the cold in the winter. I’m grateful to have a warm, cosy home.
  • The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. I saw this book on the new book shelf at my library and had to check it out. I’ve read about 20% of it and love it. It’s full of wisdom and challenges for Catholics. I really think every Catholic should read it and it would be best if each parish hosted a discussion group about the book.
  • The quiet of the post Christmas season. I’ve become grateful for the days after Christmas that are quiet and still close to the holiday. The nativity is still fresh in my mind and something I can reflect on as our home decorations are still up. Sad to say, but in December Christmas gets lost in the shuffle all too often. Now that the shopping and secular holiday thrills are gone, I feel I can savor the most important aspects of Christmas.
  • Christmas hymns. This is the best season for singing at mass. I love all the songs: O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, The First Nowell, etc.
  • Old friends. I’ve been able to meet up with a few old friends now that I’m back in the US. It’s a joy to chat and share with people I’ve known so long.

Madonna and Child

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I love the glory of such art.


Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • The gathering of friends this evening to celebrate Thanksgiving in China.
  • My students who’re pleasant to teach.
  • That my mother’s recovering from back surgery pretty well and that her care has improved.
  • Good health for family and friends.
  • The discovery of old films (The Kid, City Lights, and so many more) and books (by Ernest Poole, Zola, Horatio Alger, etc.)  that are high quality and don’t require that I compromise my beliefs (as too many modern works seem to).

Deo Gratias

???????????????????????????????????????

Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. That I got to talk with my mother and that she’s satisfied with the rehab facility.
  2. That the weather’s sunny some days ~ a break from the pollution.
  3. For my colleague Bob Foley, who left on Sunday. He was a very down-to-earth likeable teacher.
  4. The Paradise on PBS a nice dose of drama and history. The story is compelling and not an affront to my soul. (Too many shows are.)
  5. His Family, a lovely book by Ernest Poole, that I savored. It’s the story of a man who promises to engage more with his grown daughters after he loses his wife. Set in the early 20th century around WWI and free on Kindle.