On Sunday we entered the 5th Week of Lent! I feel like this Season has gone by very quickly. It was only yesterday we were putting away the masks for 'Mardi Gras' and tidying up from Elena's Birthday.
Holy Week is upon us, and the preparations for Easter are beginning in earnest, the spring cleaning is about to start, the Paschal candle needs to be prepared for the Vigil, music needs to be prepared for the Triduum, our Parish Easter Garden needs to be assembled, the Easter eggs are on the shopping list and so is the Lamb, the traditional Sicilian Easter Pecorella (Marzipan Easter lamb) will be finished at the weekend. (photos of all this to come)
But among all this busyness is the soul ready? Lent seems so long at the beginning but when Palm Sunday arrives there is always the feeling that more could have been done!
I had such plans for Lent 2016... on Ash Wednesday, all the family was supposed to go together to receive the ashes... but the night before all 3 girls got a horrible 'tummy bug', the Boys ended up going in the morning with their school and Pierpaolo and I went to evening Service... alone. My plans for Lent had already failed and that was only day 1. As usual I was called to Serve my family at home in the midst of sickness rather than at a beautiful Church service... Cleaning up after my children felt far from holy and transcendent.
I'd planned for the Rosary every day and it didn't really happen, some Rosaries were offered and one in particular will remain with us for a long time.
The Stations of the Cross happened 2 out of 4 times so far, but the idea was not to miss any. Failure number 3!
Only an hour of TV or XBox was allowed each day... but sometimes my need for peace and quiet after work would allow that to stretch into longer. Failure number 4.
On the other hand, we have been given many graces like going on a family Pilgrimage for the 'Year of Mercy' and we managed to do our Lentathon for the 24 hours for the Lord ... but these are moments you receive as a gift from heaven.
The temptation is always to feel that you have failed. That you have not even lived up to those things that you had promised to do and so arrive at Easter unworthy and unready. Yet this is the beauty of Easter, Christ welcomed the repentant thief who changed his ways at the very last moment. In the same way, however little we have managed to do in this season, it is never too late and Christ is ready open armed to receive us and bring us with him through his passion on towards his resurrection.