Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts

Friday, April 2, 2010

Great and Holy Thursday and Good Friday

In Easter basket making news…on Thursday I made baked cheese.  It’s a sweet, egg and curd cheese baked in the oven. It turned out nice.

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On Good Friday we had a quiet day and baked the Paska bread.  It is also sweet and eggy.  I think it is by far the most labor intensive part of the Easter basket.  It takes hours to make, standing on one’s feet and there is lots of kneading.  It turned out a little puffier and browner than I would like, but we sampled a small roll made from the dough and it should still be tasty.

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Now for my lament.  I have the most horribly behaved children in all of our church.  They cannot sit still or listen.  They are noisy, squirmy and prone to fits.  They often are taken out for talking to and spanks and nothing seems to work.  We parents, simply sit, near tears, clutching the writhing children, wondering what we have done wrong.  Short of strapping them to a chair one hour each day and making them watch Mass on EWTN, I do not know what to do.  Is this why so many churches have nurseries?  Why do other children their age at our church seem to behave?  We feel like unholy parents.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Great and Holy Wednesday

It was not simply that over 2,000 years ago, lived a man, a great teacher, who performed miracles, and who folks claimed was God the Word Incarnate, then was sacrificed.  This all could be the fodder of legend.  No, it was His resurrection that was the impetus for our Faith.  It was real. 

Today’s Gospel on www.byzcath.org (Matthew 26:6-16) always gives me shivers—“a woman anoints Jesus with an expensive jar of oil…’Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial.’

Which brings me to today’s Easter basket preparation—Bittersweet beets with horseradish.  it is symbolic that Christ’s sacrifice is both bitter and sweet.  And since I had beet juice, I made pickled eggs for the first time.  I love these eggs, because they represent both the sacrifice and the renewal.

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Great and Holy Tuesday

Holy Monday was long and a little bit hard.  I began my Spring Cleaning and I had to wash all the laundry. I managed to clean all of the downstairs with my little helpers.  I also managed to wash all the laundry and put most of it away.  I was certainly wiped out by the evening.  I decided the Spring Cleaning will need to extend into next week in order to enjoy Sunday’s festivities.
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The next day, I completed shredding all the papers in our shred bucket and realized that I hadn’t shredded since last Easter.  That was not a good idea on my part to wait so long.  I will have to resolve to shred on a regular basis. 

In the afternoon, I lit incense and candles in our kitchen and made the butter lambs for our Easter basket and prayed the Jesus prayer.  And in the evening, I had to put away to rest of the laundry.  I have not accomplished everything I would have wished this week, but perhaps I can complete the most important things.  
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning Thru Passiontide

Yesterday, I read the Passiontide section of Maria Von Trapp’s book Around the Year with the Trapp Family.  She explained that in Austria the first three days of Holy Week should be spent doing Spring Cleaning in order to begin Easter season new and fresh.  The following three days of Holy Week are spent doing exclusively Holy things.  Not once did she mention food preparation for the festivities.  So when, WHEN! is the baking and preparing done?  Me thinks someone had a cook in Austria and in the U.S. she had 10 children to help.  I have reserved two hours (the children’s quiet time) each afternoon this week to prepare our Easter feast and such.  However, today I am going to really dig into Spring Cleaning, even though I did not prepare myself to do this, because boy does our house need a Spring Cleaning.  I do want to begin the Easter season new and fresh. 

Sunday popsicles, “on a hot summer day,” as Alexander would say.

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  100_1946 Yes, I know my son has blue chalk all over his face.
My only excuse is that he is three years old
and if I wiped his face every time he had something on it,
I would have wiped his face clean off by now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bad Habits

I am glad it is Lent. I am working on my bad habits. But, today I am realizing that I have way too many. I don't know if I am having perfectionist thoughts, which are simply unattainable or if I am being totally realist about my faults.

I have such scattered thoughts. I constantly check websites that I have no business checking while at work. Everyday I check gofugyourself.com. It is a blog with hilarious commentary on bad celebrity fashion. I also check other friends blogs daily. (Zane, I check yours everyday even though you have not written anything since October. I am just hoping one day you might have time to give us another nugget of gold...here's hoping you do well on your orals.)

In other bad internet habits, I read the headliner stories on MSN every morning; look up products on amazon.com and add them to my wishlist; read babycenter.com updates; check my bank accounts; do anything to avoid starting the day. To make some excuse of it, my boss is way behind, so, I keep myself looking busy so I don't get too far ahead of her.

Fortunately, Lent is helping with my overeating habit and my bad, bad sweet tooth. I emphasize helping, because I must admit to not being perfect. All year round I struggle to be good in my eating habits, yet suddenly, because it's Lent and it is for God, I have self-control. This is totally blowing me away. I am seriously asking myself why I could not do this all year round for God. This question is seriously perplexing me. I think I might have to make it all the way through Lent to figure this one out. For the past two days there have been chocolates in the candy dish at the receptionist desk at my work. As I have watched them disappear, with alarming speed, I have turned my nose up at them. "Who are you?! and what have you done with Renee?"

Another extremely bad habit is not making the effort to pray--pray without ceasing--and pray with the family.

This brings me to the prayers on my heart now. Most importantly, please pray for my uncle. He is in a coma right now, battling critical illness. We are unsure of his future. He has a family who needs him. We are hoping for a full recovery. Please also pray for Andrew and I, for our souls to change, for our black stains to come clean, for our vanities to cease.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Meandering Thoughts on a Friday Morning

I think I have insomnia. Alexander slept through the night last night, but I didn't! I really haven't slept the night through since he was born. But, co-sleeping has helped me get enough sleep. In the last two months we have been trying to get Alexander to sleep the in his crib the whole night, on account of that he tries to nurse all night long. You would too if you were sleeping with your most favorite food right next to your mouth. Anyhow, he usually wakes up at some point in the night and sleeps with us for part of the night. Some nights it's more others it's less. But, all this waking up in the night has conditioned me to wake up a lot. Now, I am having trouble going back to sleep once I wake up. I better get used to it if I am going to have a few kids.

Most of the time, I eat right and exercise, so these things should help me to sleep better. But, I drink one cup of coffee every morning and sometimes tea at night. I should probably cut out the caffeine to see if that helps. But, I can't!!! Because, I am awake half the night (of my own accord, not baby related), so I need my morning cup-a-Joe, my little pick-me-up. I need it I tell you. Several times in the last couple of months I have skipped that cup of coffee only to develop a headache in the afternoon, followed by a delicious cup of coffee to cure it. Ooh! it's a vicious cycle!

It might not be the coffee. It might be hormones. In that case, what do I do?

On another topic, Great Fast has begun. Andrew and I are trying to stick as close to traditional Great Fast as possible. That means no meat, no dairy, no sweets for the entirety of Lent, except for Sundays, and strict fast (1 1/2 meals on Monday, Wednesday, Friday). We have done pretty well this week. We could probably do a little better. We have not increased are family prayer time yet, which we really need to do, because it is almost nothing right now (four prayers together, that's it). What is all this fasting really worth if prayer and good works do not increase with it? This time is meant to bring us closer to God and make our souls holy.

We will also be breaking Great Fast's strict rules during Spring Break, when we go to New York, because it will be too difficult to adhere, since we will not be at home in our own kitchen. We will likely try to keep some of the tradition. We will probably eat meat some days during the week. But, we will try to keep to the 1 1/2 meals on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

For some reason, because it is Lent and I psyched myself up for this for a couple of weeks beforehand, I think that it has been a little bit easier mentally to say, no, to the things I cannot have. There have been candies, brownies and meat at my work and I have turned away from them. I saw an ice cream cup in the freezer the other night and I wanted to eat it very bad. I kept thinking about it all evening long. But, somehow I resisted the temptation, which is not at all like me. So, perhaps God is working in my heart. Truly, if you had ever spent a day in my shoes, you would know that resisting that ice cream in my freezer and those brownies at work was a miracle. Perhaps this is the beginning a new and holier Renee. At one point in my life I was sure I was doing what was holy. During this Lenten time may God grant me the grace to come closer to holiness. I'll let you know how it goes.