Celebrating Holidays

A Gluten-Free Lent

(Here’s a re-post from last year.  The gluten-free Lent was a great learning experience for me, but we aren’t repeating it this year!)

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It’s Ash Wednesday, and it’s my favorite day of the year.  🙂

I went to the early, non-obligatory Mass this morning, kiddos in tow, to walk up that aisle, receive my ashes, and publicly declare:

I am a sinner.

I want to make amends.

I want to do better.

My kids are too young to need fasting or conversion, but still they walk up to receive their own ashes, and they come home and observe the black cloth covering the dining table, they sing from our children’s Lenten songbook, and they know that we are all giving up “wheat.”  (It’s a long story, and it’s a massive penance for me.)  They also see that I take time each day to read from my beloved Lenten companion, the book called In Conversation With God by Francis Fernandez.  For the children, religious education is a very long, slow, gradual process.  I try to help this process along in an age-appropriate manner using ideas from the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

I have been working the past couple weeks to replace our current meal-plan with all gluten-free meals. I am learning a LOT about grain, let me tell you.  And the recipe book on the right side-bar here has been very helpful.

We’re in for an interesting Lenten journey!

A Lenten Prayer

(author unknown)

Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.

Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.

Fast from anger; feast on patience.

Fast from worry; feast on trust.

Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.

Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.

Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.

Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.

Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.

Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.

Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

Gentle God, during this season of fasting and feasting, gift us with your presence; so we can be a gift to others in carrying out your work.  Amen.

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