In case you didn't know, Lent is my favorite time of year. I joyfully embrace the cross and yearn to grow closer to Him. Dad and I prepare a personal Lenten program for ourselves and for our family. We help the children with their personal Lenten programs. We also create marital Lenten program. It sounds like a lot but, really, we keep it simple.
Dad and I serve as each other's spiritual advisor – to become ONE in Christ. Our marital Lenten program varies every year with the exception of one element that remains the same on a yearly basis. We’ve agreed to select a sacrifice for one another. It is often my biggest sacrifice. Here are the parameters:
- Take time away from home to finalize all Lenten programs and seek direction. This is usually done on a date walk.*
- Start the discussion with a prayer.
- Tell the other what item you would like to see him work on/sacrifice for Lent.
- only one sacrifice can be set
- be specific
- give an example
- there can be no refuting the sacrifice chosen
- arguing is NOT allowed
- Close the discussion with a prayer.
- Pray daily for one another.
- Repeat steps 1-4 as a follow-up on a weekly basis or daily if needed.
*We invented date walks several years ago when getting away for a date night was not possible. The walks can last no longer than 45min and no kids are allowed. They are great for our physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Dad and I back in high school.
O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts, dwell in our hearts and be our King; grant us by Your grace to love each other truly and chastely, even as You have loved Your spotless Bride, the Church, and have given Yourself up for her.
Bestow upon us that mutual love and Christian forbearance which are so highly acceptable in Your sight, and a mutual patience in bearing each other's defects; for we are certain that no living creature is free from them. Do not permit even the slightest defect to mar that full and gentle harmony of spirit, the foundation of the mutual assistance in the many and varied hardships of life, that is the end for which woman was created and united inseparably to her husband.
O Lord God, grant that between us there may reign a perpetual holy rivalry toward a life perfectly Christian, by virtue of which there may shine forth more and more clearly the divine image of Your mystic union with Your Holy Church, as You have deigned to imprint it upon us on the auspicious day of our being made one.
Grant, we beseech You, that our good example of Christian living may serve as a powerful inspiration to our children to conform their own lives to Your holy law; and finally, after this exile may we ascend into heaven, where by the help of Your grace, for which we earnestly pray, we may merit to be joined with our children forever and praise and bless You through everlasting ages, Amen.
Prayer Source: Family for Families, The by Francis L. Filas, S.J., The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1947