Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ramping Up

It's that time again. Each year right before Lent it never fails. I get nervous for I am weak. I think about sacrifices great and small. I question myself whether or not it really matters if I give up something. In the grand scheme does God really care if I don't have sweets? Is it supposed to be greater than that? Am I pleasing him more if I work on being pure in every sense? And fasting, I am terrible with fasting. Did I mention weakness?

Well, because I feel that I really do have to make a sacrifice, I think I am giving up sweets. It will be really hard. I mean really, really hard. Doesn't that sound stupid? I know it does - but I crave sweets 24 hours a day. I think about licorice and my mouth waters. It's a HUGE downfall of mine.

So this year it will be something tangible and something deeper. I keep going back to the purity issue. Asking myself if I truly give it all to God or is some of it so that others will think that I am good?? I read this last night:

In all our desires, prayers, fasting, almsgiving, in all our acts and in all that we bear from God, let our intentions be pure. Without aiming at our interest, without speaking to please men, without fear of displeasing them, without even fixing our intention on what we might receive of grace in the present time and of glory in the time to come, we should only consider the admirable goodness of God and act purely and in the first place of it, and in the second place for the salvation of our neighbor.

The more our intention is pure and strongly directed toward God, the less we dwell upon our own advantages and even upon those of other men, and the more our works will be agreeable to God and profitable to all. But, alas, how much they will lose in value before God, and for all creatures, if we see in them any other thing than the pure goodness of the Lord.

From The Ways of God for Meditation and Prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas

So there they are- the hurdles for Lent. Giving it all without looking for the grace, without trying to impress, and with fullness of heart. I suppose that's why I am ramping up. Getting ready. I'm in for a long road, please wish me luck. Better yet- say a prayer.

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