Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
Actually, the opposite is true.
1. Fold Your Hands
Some ways you can tell someone is lying: his arm and leg movement will be limited, stiff, and towards his own body; she avoids eye contact; he will touch his face, throat, and mouth a lot. I learned at a young age the power of body language. I was a clumsy girl, so my mom enrolled me in ballet classes, which I took for 14 years. My instructors pulled back my shoulders every two minutes-so that I would project the confidence that I didn’t feel. “Let your body lead,” they said. “And your mind will follow.” That is why I always fold my hands when I pray. I want my body to tell God that I’m talking to Him, even if my mind is off wandering elsewhere.
2. Say Thank You
Gratitude, they say, is the highest form of prayer. It’s also the most difficult when I’m in a depressive cycle or feel a panic attack coming on. During Lent, I try to pay special attention to all the small, wonderful things around me: that my kids aren’t using diapers anymore, that they don’t have disabilities, that my husband works around the corner and can come home for lunch.
My mom and dad told my sisters and me that when someone gives you a gift-no matter how small-you ALWAYS write a thank-you letter. It’s the polite thing to do. So, as I try to teach my kids the same lesson, I remind myself to say thank you to God, as well. That’s just plain good manners.
3. Light a Candle