So, how's lent going for you? Have you kept up with your promises you made? The things you gave up? The "extras" you promised yourself you would do?
If you haven't, it's not too late! Even if you have kept up with what you intended to do, but perhaps feel that maybe it "isn't enough" -- there's still time! Add something else into the mix!
These forty days were meant to strengthen us as Catholics. We give up in order to receive, we do extra in order to please God, and hopefully ourselves. We want to do what is pleasing to God, even though sometimes it is hard!
I had the pleasure of attending "Cast Your Nets" last night in McCartyville. This is an annual gathering of the youth from the northern part of our diocese, in an effort to foster vocations. It's always fun to go to -- to see old friends and to see my kids make new ones. There was prayer, and song, reconciliation, and, of course pizza. Fun night. My favorite part came last. Mass. Honestly, I'm not really a night time mass person -- I find I pay much better attention first thing in the morning, but I usually go to this mass because of the energy. This year, Bishop Binzer was the presider. I've really come to like this man. He's fairly new to his position as Bishop (I think right at a year), but has come to fill the shoes perfectly.
His homily was spot on. Firstly, his homilies are straight and to the point. I like that! He was discussing a couple of items with everyone in the congregation, but the one that struck me most was his talk about giving up and doing extra. He mentioned that he gave up March Madness this year (hearing his schedule, I'm not sure he had a choice :) -- but I thought that was a fun thing to give up. He also said he enjoys doing "extra things". He didn't really say what he likes to do extra, but did mention taking time each day to write down (either on paper or electronically!) something that you are thankful for. A word, a reading, a person, a song....whatever. Big or small. You may be thankful for the daffodil you saw when leaving your house in the morning. Or that red light that you had to stop at, for it prevented you from being in an accident. Whatever it is, write it down and be thankful for it.
And then, in two weeks on Easter Sunday, you will have a list of 14 things you are thankful for. You can look back on them and review them. Then start again! But keep the old list. Think of all the things you could come up with in a year.
I've been reading a lot about thankfulness lately. It's an interesting thing. If we center ourselves more on what we are thankful for, our lives as a whole begin to improve. It's a fact. When we dwell on the negative, it makes our lives way more negative.
So let's try this. Can you do it for two weeks? I can. I've started my list on my iPhone. (See? I'm thankful I know how to make lists there! LOL)
Have a great week everyone!