Lenten Sacrifice

I can’t believe tomorrow is Ash Wednesday! For the past week or so, I’ve been thinking about what to give up this year. Every year, thinking of something seems to get more and more difficult. I’m beyond the point of giving up something frivolous such as chocolate or sugar, especially since giving up one of those things would make me unhappy and less likely to spread love to those that I encounter. I’ve noticed many of my friends also struggling to think of something to give up for Lent this year, so I complied a list of ideas including some I’ve done in past years and some that I’m considering doing this year. Many of these ideas include giving up nothing at all. You don’t necessarily have to give something up for Lent. The idea behind a Lenten Sacrifice is to prepare for the coming of our Savior. We want to be as pure as possible by the time Easter Sunday rolls around. For this reason, it is important not to be selfish in our sacrifices and to make sure we aren’t taking on too much. It’s better to abstain from one thing well than to fail at several and get nowhere spiritually.  Remember, the whole reason for Lenten Sacrifice is to get closer to Christ.

  1. Go to Adoration weekly: You can also decide to attend stations of the Cross and other Lenten services offered by your parish. Just make sure that before you pledge to do this, you’ll be able to follow through and attend everything you plan to.
  2. Community Service: Why not give back more this Lenten season? Set aside time every week to give back to your community and grow closer to Christ.
  3. Be More Friendly: This is what I “gave up” for Lent last year. By the time Easter rolled around, it had become a routine. I’m still far from perfect, but I’m more likely to be friendly to others now than I was a year ago.
  4. Going to mass weekly: Okay, this one will only work if you aren’t attending mass every weekend already. Doing this for the season of Lent will put you in the routine of going every weekend and hopefully make you keep going after Easter.
  5. Going to daily mass: I love going to daily mass, and hopefully, one of these years, I’ll be able to do this everyday for Lent. Unfortunately, my school schedule has been too busy and unpredictable both in years past and now to fully commit to doing this.
  6. Stress: Giving stress up for Lent can definitely backfire and cause you to stress about not stressing. But, it is also a really beneficial and healthy thing to give up for Lent. It allows you to focus on whats more important and prepare for the Resurrection of Christ. My friends and I tried this one out junior year of high school and it worked. I definitely stress less to this day.
  7. Pray a decade of the rosary every day: This one is definitely easier said than done. Although it sounds quick and easy, pulling out your beads every day for the next 40 days is going to take dedication. If you do decide to commit, listening to rosary on tape in the car is a way to make this one easier.
  8. Swearing: I don’t think swearing is necessarily anti-Catholic but its not very classy and in the  wrong context can be disrespectful. Giving up negative and hateful speech, wether it be curse words, gossip or bullying for Lent would be a great idea if that’s something you’re struggling with.
  9. Go to Confession weekly: Again, if you’re doing this already it probably won’t count as a Lenten Sacrifice, and just like going to weekly mass, this is an idea that could easily paired with something else.
  10. Daily Prayer: Setting time aside every day to pray and be with Christ is very important, especially in the 40 days leading up to Easter. There’s no time like the present to get closer to God. You could even mix it up and pray to a different Patron Saint every day for intervention for different intentions.
  11. Acknowledge others: Instead of looking down at your phone or failing to smile at others when you walk by them on the street or in the hallway, say hello or smile at them instead. It’s a good way to be friendly and spread positivity and the spirit of Christ to those you encounter.
  12. Complaining: I’m definitely guilty of complaining a lot, and it’s a bad habit I need to kick. Complaining frequently makes you look like a negative person who isn’t grateful for what you have.
  13. Your Phone: Not completely; don’t panic! So many people are glued to their phones to the point that they’d rather be on it than have a legitimate conversation with the person sitting across from them. Others are so addicted that they’ll go on it instead of doing work, homework, or real world activities. It this is you, be conscious of your phone consumption for Lent or limit yourself to one phone battery every day. If that still seems like too much, try turning it off every time you’re planning on working or spending time with someone instead.

 

Castle Hill Light

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On my recent trip home, I took an afternoon trip down to the Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport to explore. The lighthouse itself looked tiny until you got close to it. I decided to climb right up next to it and was greeted by an amazing view of the Atlantic, surrounding rocks, and the coast of Jamestown. If I had gone a couple of hours later, it would’ve been the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

To access the lighthouse, I parked at the Castle Hill Inn and took a short walking path. I’m glad I found the path when I did as I was about to start scaling a nearby cliff to climb to the light.

Because the weather was cold and windy, I wore my L.L. Bean Boots and a down vest, layered with a long sleeve top. I’m obsessed with the scarf I wore! It completed my outfit, giving me a pop of color. I was careful to make sure it didn’t blow right off of me!

Sunset Bows

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Although I never know whether or not orange will look good on me, I decided to try this bow sweater out. I ended up loving the orange color! It complemented the sunset so well, after all, the sunset ties the day up like a bow.

 

Snow Angels Fly Home

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Today was a blur. This morning, I had a midterm in Physics II and then another in Introduction to Criminal Justice.  I likely failed one and aced the other. On the shuttle in, it was snowing heavily which was a total surprise. Fortunately, it didn’t amount to anything;  in a couple of hours I’ll be surrounded by snow anyway! I’m currently in the airport waiting for my flight home. Even though I only get four days at home, they’re going to be packed. I have nearly every day planned out both for seeing people (and horses) and eating. I’m traveling home with Georgetown Cupcake, of course, and have plans to get donuts from Allies, Chinese, chocolate mouse and birthday cake, just to name some highlights.

Today marks one month of me being back in DC and I couldn’t be any more ready to go home. I had a rough start to the semester, and depending on how my midterms went, things may or may not be getting better. However, the only thing on my mind right now is getting four days of escape from my school routine, even if I did just (finally) get adjusted last week. I’m definitely in desperate need of a vacation. Taking regular vacations from school is crucial for me. I unplug completely and even delete my email off of my phone. Even though I love going to school far away, I live for my trips home; I’m a total homebody. Getting away from school, even if just for a weekend,  makes the semester seem more manageable and gives me something to look forward to. I can’t wait to get home!

Valentine

Happy St. Valentines Day from Jupiter and I! Even though I won’t be seeing him today due to the few hundred miles separating us, he’s still my Valentine. He’s the cutest, sweetest little boy who tries so hard to please and never fails to put a smile on my face. I love him so much!

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