"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”
I was particularly struck by a line that the priest said in his homily last Friday. He said, "We give up something, not out of obligation this Lent, but because we want to love God more and we want to love others more." It's a very timely reminder for all of us on why we fast and abstain during the season of Lent. Lent invites us to draw closer to God who is love Himself; so that as we draw closer to Him, we would be transformed and purified by His love.
I also liked one of his examples to illustrate how we, Filipinos, demostrate how easily we give up our comfort to accommodate our neighbors who are in need. He cited the experience of riding the jeepney as an example. He said that jeepney passengers practice giving up their comfort every day to make space for a fellow passenger; because a lot of times, jeepneys which can normally seat only seven people are made to accommodate eight or nine passengers. And for this to happen, the rest of the passengers will have to give up a bit of the space they are sitting on to the new passenger. He said that somehow, this makes the "impossible" possible because there were people who chose to give up their comfort for the sake of another. I found this a very amusing and beautiful analogy.
Then, I was inspired to look into my own experiences and I was led to ponder on my life and my transformation from a very busy single working lady to a busy mom of two active little boys.
I have given up a lot of things, including many that made me comfortable, since I became a mom. I chose to give up all those things, not out of obligation or duty for my family, but mainly for love. I wanted to give the best to my kids. Thus, I decided to give up my work before and the many perks (including travelling often) that went with having a job outside the home especially with the kind of job I used to hold. I have given up much of my sleep and personal time to make time for my kids. I have adjusted my lifestyle to accommodate three of God's greatest blessings in my life -- my husband and my two sons. I'm actually amazed at how God had enabled me through His grace to make space for two little kids in my life and for helping my heart grow bigger to love not just one but two kids. Indeed, only God can move our hearts to love more... Because He first filled our hearts with His love. With this love from His Sacred Heart, we are then able to love those whom God has placed in our path.
This Lent, I have decided to fast not just on specific foods (like chocolates) that I enjoy eating. I have also decided to fast from some negative behaviors or responses to some of the things that challenge my resolve to be more loving like God. You can read here to find out more about it.
I have planned a number of activities for our young family to help us become more prayerful and loving to each other and to the poor around us. I pray that as we get busy striving to do all these things this Lent, we would not forget or lose sight of the main reason why we choose to do all these things.
How are you making space for Love this Lent? What are you giving up? Feel free to share it with me by leaving a comment in this post.
Have a meaningful and love-filled Lent!
Here are the links to some of my previous posts about Lent or during the season of Lent. I will be posting more in the coming days so I hope you'd drop by again next time. :)
Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Discover new Catholic Blogs to follow!