There are traditionally forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigour during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and almsgiving (justice towards neighbour). Today, some people give up a vice of theirs, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.
I wasn't coming up with anything inspiring, until I took a look at a friend's post on SoulPancake. You should check it out too. It's kind of more of a meme than a Lenten practice, but this is what I'll do:
Now, the opportunity: Draw on your innate creativity and make a collage that represents your soul over the past year.
No one else can tell your story like you can. Here are some guidelines to help you get started:Can you muster the courage to share the life of your mind, soul, and emotions?
1. Make a list of your highlights, low points, and learning experiences of 2009.
2. Find some old magazines, bits of paper, small objects or photos and cut out the images/words that resonate with the experiences on your list.
3. Layer the images and words and attach them to a surface (using glue, wire, tape—whatever).
4. Upload your collage here and tell us how it felt to tell your story using art.
So, I'm going to do that project. And, I'm going to continue to work on prayer, because I'm starting to feel like it's really effective! I'm not sure yet on the fasting.... I don't think I can handle a Facebook fast, but I will probably focus on eating better. For the "almsgiving" mentioned above, I am still working on raising money for Haiti.
On a similar note, I just got a link from another friend about facing "mid-life" and how to cope with change. That the lived life means facing change, and the fear involved.... it's a thought provoking article, especially coming ahead of my BIG birthday coming up.
Image from religious imagery in culture