So today starts Lent. I was raised in a Catholic family, attended Catholic grade school.
Survived nuns for teachers....wait here, I have to take a break. I actually liked the nuns we had at our school. The principal nun was a little scary but overall I have to say, my grade school experience was a positive one.
We were always taught that you had to sacrifice and give up something for Lent. I have always tried to do that but I do have to say, the older I get, the less I worry about it.
I pay attention to Pope Francis. I really like his message.
I have been reading little snippets of his message about Lent this year.
It is quite different. We are becoming accustomed to that with Pope Francis. Instead of giving something up this year, he says we should do something or add something. Instead of doing something that does not help anyone out, we should do something that is a helping action. Even if all we can do is pray prayers for a good cause, that is a positive action.
I like this, but I am sort of at a loss. The first thing that comes to my mind is helping the homeless or the hungry. It is hard to do that on a daily basis.
At Christmas time I heard the good idea of preparing "care bags". These would contain items that a homeless person or a poor person could use. Suggestions were breakfast bars, soap, socks, mittens, scarf, fast food GC, tea bags, a piece of fruit, etc. Then when you see a homeless person or one of those people who stand by the road with a sign stating something like, will work for food, you hand them a care bag. It is said to be so much better than giving them money. Well I never did do that, even though I thought it was a great idea. I have to say that this year I never saw even one of those people around. I guess that might be a nod to our city in helping these people? I have seen 2 people in that situation twice since the first of the year. I think about doing that this year during Lent. I also think about helping serve at a soup kitchen in the city. I need to look into that.
There is also the food pantries. Need to take food to the food pantries! We have a change jar on our dresser that gets to be quite large. Every so often, maybe once a year, we take it to the bank and have it made into paper money. It can be astounding. It is usually around $200-$300. We usually do something fun with it. I think it is pretty full right now and I could take it to the bank and use the whole amount for a grocery store spree for the food pantry.
I want to contribute something positive this Lenten season, not just give up candy or carbs or alcohol or whatever. I want to do a meaningful act of charity every week and any additional time I see the opportunity.
I also want to pray for Peace.
One of the main points for this idea is that a person should do these things and be anonymous about it. This is not something to be worn on your sleeve. That is also part of the sacrifice of it. These are things we could do at any time of the year and it would be sad to not continue to do kind acts. But what better time to learn them, than at Lent?
Be Well My Friends,
For The Love Of Health!