A Lenten Programme.

Last night was the commencement of our parish’s Lenten programme.

Gerry ( dh) and I attended the programme last year . We went out for coffee and talk after each session last Lent and then shared information from the programme with the children at home.

This year, we are attending with son Jonathon, so no “date time” – but we are still hoping to share our reflections with the children.

Each week, one of the Brothers from the Conventual Franscicans, leads us in prayer and then reading and discussion/reflection on the forthcoming Sunday Gospel.

There is a theme to each session ~ last night the theme was Finding Christ in prayer.

Br. mentioned that many times we talk and talk to God – but we don’t stop to pause, think, listen.

I know the listening part is hard for me. As is discernment – I think, is this really God’s will or my own inclination?

During the quiet reflection, I was able to think about listening, about finding time to be still and about how discernment works.

I think that the hour spent at the Lenten programme each week will be of spiritual benefit ~ for me, for Gerry, for Jonathon and for the other boys.

If your parish holds such a Lenten journey, I encourage you to attend even one session. To journey with others during Lent has proven helpful for me.


Lenten reading. And a haircut.

One of the books that I am reading for Lent is a little gem –
Saint Teresa of Avila for Every Day.

This book consists of short quotes from St Teresa’s book “The Interior Castle”.

Some recent quotes ~

If we practice love of neighbour with great perfection, we will have done everything.

In my opinion, we shall never completely know ourselves if we don’t strive to know God.

Well, believe me, if we don’t obtain and have peace inside our own house, we’ll not find it outside.

And, as an aside – on a completely different matter; I move from the spiritual to the… the sublime?? ๐Ÿ™‚ – well, I went to the hairdresser yesterday and asked for a trim and some layering. She got carried away and now my hair looks completely different! I felt nervous when I got home and looked in the mirror! lol!


Lenten practices.

During the homily at Mass last night, Fr. mentioned that fasting can be giving up something that is close to our heart, for the period of Lent.
I laughingly said to my dh that I am giving him up for Lent!
I can’t. My dh is too cute.
All joking aside, Fr’s homily reminded us of the Lenten practices of extra prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
Three important practices for we Christians, as we follow Christ’s example. As we journey towards Easter and the attendant celebrations.
Almsgiving is charity. Charity is love.
And charity begins at home.
It is my prayer that I will be a better parent and a better wife . That Lent will be a time of joy for our family; a time to grow closer again.
Is it possible?
Anything is possible with God. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our Lenten activities today..And the Loveliness of Baking!

Thomas and I are making pretzels.

From A Continual Feast ~ ” The pretzel is a very ancient bakery item, which traditionally was eaten only during Lent. It appeared each year on Ash Wednesday and disapeared on Good Friday. It goes back at least to the fifth century: there is a Roman manuscript in the Vatican Library dating from that period which shows a Lenten pretzel. As to the shape: it is made in the form of two arms crossed in prayer. The word bracellae, ‘little arms’, became in German Bretzel, then Pretzel. These early Christians ate no dairy products in Lent, so the pretzel was made of only flour, salt, and water: it was as simple as it could be.”

And Anthony and I are making a salt dough wreath for the Lenten table – a Crown of Thorns. Similar to our Advent Wreath.

Elizabeth shared her ideas on this at the 4 Real Learning Forum.

We are hopefully braiding three ropes of salt dough, forming them into a crown, adding toothpicks or similar for thorns, and then varnishing. On Easter Sunday, we will fill the crown with flowers.

This will be extra nice for our Easter Sunday, as that day we will be celebrating our wedding anniversary !

I’ll try to post pics of our products later…

I realized, too, that this post fits in with the new Fair – the Loveliness of Baking.

I don’t do a lot of baking but I do cook with my sons – mostly with Thomas and Anthony. Looking at our blog, I see that these have been some of our recent baking activities –

St Basil’s Bread – recipe here.
Fruit Buns
Irish Soda Bread for the Feast of St Brigid
A picture of our home baked St Lucy’s bread or crown…
Coconut Macaroons for the feast of St Thomas a Beckett
Cinnamon Crown Cake
Devil’s Food Muffins – Feast of the Archangels

The Loveliness of Baking in our home is that a) it is rare and therefore special; b) it is often tied to the liturgical year and gives us a chance to remember the saints and the feasts, the Ordinary Time and Lent and Advent; c) it is a time for me to spend with one or two sons, doing an activity and chatting and laughing ( at our failures!); d) it passes for school work in my log!

Check out Cheryl’s blog for the Loveliness of Baking Fair.


Reconciliation and a Lenten Reflection

Went to Confession this afternoon.

Came home and read this reflection on Maria’s blog.

It just fits.

Reflection ~
โ€œWe want to shut the doors to the messy rooms, so the guest doesnโ€™t see the disorder. But this is not what we should do with Christ. We must open up the messy rooms of our hearts to him, because those are the ones that need some work.โ€– Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher of the Papal Household



I bought these two teapots today. They are cute!

I am still looking for some unusual teapots, to replace my two favourites. The Charles Dickens and Cat teapots were accidentally broken by two of the kids…Maybe we’ll find some new, unusual ones for my birthday?

Meanwhile, I know I’ll enjoy these two colourful teapots at breakfast…