My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

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I've been trying to sit down and type this all day - but life and other commitments had to take a higher priority.

Nonetheless, today was the feast of SAINT SCHOLASTICA

st. scholastica

She was an Italian woman who lived in the late 5th/early 6th century and is known for her devotion to God and to her brother. She founded a convent when her brother, St. Benedict founded his own monastery.

There are a couple of things I love about St. Scholastica - the legend goes that towards the end of her days she was enjoying a very lovely visit with her beloved brother, but when night came he got up to leave. Scholastica begged him to stay as she feared it would be their last visit together. But Benedict apparently was a stickler for the rules of his own order and was determined to leave when Scholastica said a little prayer and God brought a great rain storm down upon them. As a consequence Benedict stayed, much to the delight of his sister.

Consequently Scholastica is the patron against storms and inclement weather. When I was growing up I remember my Lithuanian grandmother burning left over palms in the sink and praying loudly for storms and tornadoes to pass us by without any harm. I think she would have really appreciated St. Scholastica!

But what I really admire about St. Scholastica and her brother Benedict is that they were the epitome (to my mind anyway) of what siblings should be to one another. Certainly they both had their own struggles and their own lives to lead, but it seems that they enjoyed their visits together and appreciated one another's company. They made time for each other one of their priorities.

Last week I posted an article from Psychology Today about Sibling Rivalry and how the dysfunction of childhood can leave deep scars and painful memories into adulthood. What struck me in the article is how culpable parents are in the wounds their children suffer in this regard.

I don't have any easy answers on how to avoid this, but I do think it's important to tell each child how much you love him/her every day. I feel rather silly sometimes as I grab one of my 6 foot tall sons to hug them when my head comes just into their chest! But I still think it's important that they get a hug from mom. And even now at 6 feet and 230 pounds, Gabe still likes to snuggle with me when watch t.v. I'm hoping that with them knowing, seeing and feeling mother love personally they will never doubt that they were loved for being themselves. Mr. Pete shows them that as well, but in other more fatherly ways that I'm sure they appreciate.

I also think that homeschooling them has brought my kids closer together. They all have friends too but they are very comfortable with each other. Sam and Gabe play music together, Izzy and Noah run, and everyone gets a turn having tea parties with Rosie. And when Calvin brings his girlfriend Sarah over to the house they all laugh and talk around the dining room table. Hopefully that is something they will do in the years and decades ahead.

I wish we had some historical information on what Benedict and Scholastica's parents did to raise such holy and loving siblings. That would be some interesting and useful information, and they quite likely, are saints themselves.

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