I have been discouraged this Lent by my inability to DO all the things we usually do around here during our season of preparation. I just haven't been able to prepare to prepare. Sometimes, we choose our Lenten sacrifices. Sometimes, God chooses them for us. Lent began early for me this year, shortly after the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. I didn't even know I was pregnant, but boy, did my body. I haven't been upright for more than a few moments at a time since. This is my fifth autumn baby; I'm beginning to get good at giving up all eating as I know it for Lent! I'm also learning that I can be a good mom just by being, not always by doing. We've done a lot of snuggling, had a lot of heart-to-heart conversations. Still, I miss the Lenten preparations. It's the DOING that I've sacrificed.
God sends us people to help carry our crosses, too. Stephen's Godmother has come in (a bit like a lady with a magic wand) and tied purple ribbons on all our religious art. She also cooked and cleaned:-). Everywhere we look, we see simple reminders of the season.
And early yesterday morning, I prayed for the strength to just do the important things. Lo and behold, I finally got around to setting up the first three installments of Jesus' Journey to Jerusalem. It's all I did for the day, but it was wonderful to present "Jesus and the Children," "Bartimeus and Jesus," and "Jesus and Zaccheus" for the first time to the littlest ones. Each of them returned to the work again and again throughout the day.One of the most beautiful things about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Montessori's approach to religious education) is the spiritual benefit for the catechist. Every time I present a work, I gain a new insight into that component of our faith. And every time I wonder aloud with my children, I understand why they are God's plan for my journey to heaven.