I'm giving up certain parts of my online activities for Lent, and instead I'll be doing some spiritual reading.
First on my list is a book I've read before, but is very difficult for me to read (emotionally). It's The Dolorous Passion, which was the book that Mel Gibson read and used to "fill in" details between Gospel accounts when he made The Passion of the Christ (which we watch every Good Friday). Sister Emmerich was a mystic who had visions of Our Lord's Passion and Death and was asked to have them committed to paper before she died.
It is a very. tough. read.
So in between reading that, I'll be working on reading Mother Angelica's Private and Pithy Lessons from the Scriptures and What's Wrong with the World (Chesterton). This will be my first Chesterton book! (I'm a bit excited, especially after reading Dale Alquist's introductory book on Chesterton.)
Not that I think I'll finish all of those, but I do have a couple of other books on my list of things to read. First, there's The Imitation of Mary. It's another difficult read, if only that it forces me to face how far I have to go in order to be the kind of Christian I ought to be. Then I've also remembered that I've got another book that I started and sort of put aside: Introduction to Christianity, by then-Cardinal Ratzinger.
I'll try to post here about what I'm learning (and how I'm doing). I am really trying not to give myself too much to accomplish during Lent; as I learned a few years ago when I tried to do too much, that is just setting me up for failure. However, I am a voracious reader when I'm not occupying myself with time wasters online, so I do anticipate having enough time to get through at least the first three books, if not more. The biggie will be The Dolorous Passion. Like I said, it's a difficult read for me. It's emotionally exhausting. And it is an in-your-face reminder of why Jesus died and what He went through for me.
There are things I'm planning on doing aside from reading more. One that I've already made public is my commitment to participating more in 40 Days for Life. I plan on going (with the girls) to pray outside Planned Parenthood more often - hopefully once a week at a minimum - during this campaign. You, too, can participate in the 40 Days event, even if you aren't able to be there physically. We need prayers - lots of them - and those prayers can be quite powerful. If you can, pray and fast for us and for the 40 Days campaign. Really, you're praying and fasting for those mothers who are contemplating abortion, their children, and those people who work in the abortion clinics across the country.