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And thus it begins...

I'm thinking Lent. 

I'm thinking Lent because I just led a pre-Lenten retreat for the candidates, catechumens and sponsors at our parish.  It was a great day, and a good way to get everyone ready for the rigors of Lent.

That being said, I try not to plan my Lent out too much.  This is from hard-earned experience.  As a friend of mine (who happens to be a nun) told me on Tuesday,  "Lent usually has a way of finding us."  This is her way of saying that God has a plan for our Lent, and relying on our own plan too much will usually get us derailed, bewildered, and downright upset:  "Hey, I was gonna pray the Rosary every day, and give up chocolate and Diet Coke, and go to Stations of the Cross every Friday, but then I got the flu and well, my Lent was just awful!!!"

Uh, maybe YOUR Lent was derailed, but perhaps GOD'S Lent for you went just as planned.

It's good to have a plan for Lent.  It's good to assure yourself that you're gonna pray, fast and be generous with your time and talents and money.  It's good to be concrete in how you plan to do that.  It is pig-headed to believe it's the only way, or deny that God may have something else planned.

I'm thinking Lent, and I've got a plan (my plan, by the way, is no meat).  However, I've also got an open heart and an open mind for God's voice and will.  Maybe He'll go with my plan, but I'm pretty sure He'll have a few Lenten options He'd like me to take part in.  And I will think about that as Lent unfolds.

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