Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

40 Days

on February 17, 2010

Today begins Lent.

Oh, how I love this season. It holds a special place in my heart because 6 years ago, Lent was the time period I gave myself to be open to the Catholic Church. The 40 days was filled with interesting conversations, intense reading and prayer, and some really freaky “coincidences.” 2 weeks after Easter, I made my decision to convert.

But that’s another story.

Recently, I learned even more cool things about Lent when I had to prepare to give a lesson about it to our high schoolers. For instance, did you know that in the early church, ashes were placed on your forehead after you made a public confession of sin? It was to remind you (and others, I’m sure) of your own mortality. Others wanted the mark on their forehead as well to symbolize that they were repentant sinners, and eventually, the tradition became for Ash Wednesday. So cool. In some ways, I think that would be neat to go back to, but I also know that a visible sign of who has made public confession would give great temptation to judge others. Like I need help in that department.

In recent years (7 or so), I have become very aware of the practice of “taking up” something for Lent, besides just “letting go” of something. I like it alot.

Last year, I gave up the internet after 10pm. That was rough. It also brought me so much extra time for prayer, sleep and other activities, as well as taught me to prioritize my internet time. If it was 9:56pm, I was checking email and looking up the weather, not typing random actor’s names in Wikipedia and sifting through useless trivia and news.

This year, I am doing several things:

– Listening to Catholic Radio or nothing at all in the car. I have gotten in the bad habit of listening to secular talk shows (that make me mad) or music (that makes me hum through objectionable lyrics). Catholic radio is beautiful and I learn so much. Silence is also much needed. This includes (hopefully) once a day listening to my Chaplet of Divine Mercy cd.

Spiritual Exercises blog, daily. I’m already loving this. So good, and the reflections have been wonderful! (ok, I’ll admit, it’s just day one). I’m keeping a journal to answer the questions and reflect.

– Read To Live Is Christ by Peter Celano. I tried this last year and failed, so I’m going to try again.

– Remove one bag of trash or clutter every day from my home, car, or office. Whoa Nellie, is this ever needed. I have a feeling that near the end, this might be hard, but it will be good. Just to clarify, I don’t necessarily have to throw it away, I could recycle it or take unwanted things to Holy Family Thrift Store or Recycled Books.

I have two more that are quite personal, so I am not going to share those. One of them will be quite hard, but I am very interested to see what God has to reveal to me about this.

The garden of Easter is so much sweeter after 40 days in the desert.

Below, enjoy a great song from Matt Maher.

(Confidential to Amanda: Yeah, the title made me think of high school…we were so silly back then!)


2 responses to “40 Days

  1. […] If you missed them, I wrote two posts on Lent. Here and here. Love this […]

  2. Amanda says:

    hehehehe 🙂 We were total goobers.

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