This Lent we are taking part in the Operation Rice Bowl. I'm trying to help Michaela understand making sacrifices for others and charitable giving. Operation Rice Bowl is put out by Catholic Relief Services and the money is used to help the poor. The basic premise is to prepare simple meals during Lent and to make family sacrifices. You put the money you save through these practices in a container and send it in after Lent. We are planning to give up our Lenten pizza night on Fridays [because we usually order it from a pizza place] and various other family treats. I asked Michaela if she wanted to give up sweets for Lent and I bet you can guess her answer :) "My sweets! Oh, mom! Anything but that! I'll give up other things instead." Well...I tried. She did have a nice long list of things that she WAS willing to give up so I guess I should be pleased. She often prays and thinks of people in need, especially children. During her school food drive I watched this tiny child lug a backpack and a bag of can goods to school. She could barely walk! I offered to help her but she wanted to do it herself. Last night she dug through our change jar and pulled out the pennies for the "Penny Drive" at school. The kids got to pick out the charity that the money goes to. I think she is getting the right idea :)
Michaela likes to practice "random acts of kindness" and I explained to her that these are what pleases God the most. Doing things for love alone. If she learns this I will be so thankful, for everything passes on this earth except love ...we take this one with us when we go.
Dear Heavenly Father, please bless all families this Lent. Help us teach our children about love and helping others. We are very blessed to have a wonderful example in the Holy Family. Help us to model our families after Joseph, Mary, and Jesus and pour your healing love upon us all, that there may be no divisions among family members or among the Body Of Christ on earth. I ask this in the name of your beloved Son. Amen.