Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Fasting Cup

My parish has family gathering sessions a few times each year to help its parishioners, especially the children, better understand their Catholic Faith. The theme of the most recent gathering session was Lent and what families could do to during this period of time to help the kids understand the meaning of Lent and the importance of abstinence, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. There were a lot of great ideas on how to get the entire family involved in Lenten practices and one of my favorites was "The Fasting Cup".  Michaela decorated a large cup and we each wrote down things on slips of paper that we thought it would be good to fast from during Lent and placed them in the cup. Michaela, knowing her father and I very well, wrote down a number of things such as giving up coffee, the computer and the TV, among other things. ( I'm sure Randy is hoping I'll pick the coffee slip!) Randy and I also filled out a number of slips with things that we thought she could do, also, like giving up video games, desserts, complaining (grin) and other things that she particularly likes. Each day everyone takes a slip from The Fasting Cup and gives up that item for the day (or longer for the adults).

We also made a "Prayer Bowl" that we filled with ideas for doing extra things for the Lord during Lent and each person picks from that bowl once a day. Today, my "extra" is to learn about a new or little known saint and tonight I will share what I learned with the others. Michaela picked "being extra loving to people" and Randy picked "praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet".  The slips in the Prayer Bowl contain anything from "extra Bible reading" to "Praying for the person in this world who needs it the most". 

Michaela is very excited about putting these ideas into practice and I have to admit that her enthusiasm is catchy - I'm not sure I've ever been so excited about fasting before. Seeing things through the eyes of a child seems to make all the difference.

10 comments:

  1. I like the idea of a Fasting Cup! What a wonderful way to share the "giving of ourselves" to God through sacrifice with Michaela!

    God bless

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  2. A good reminder of what Jesus said, "Unless you become as little children..." Your post helped me to think more about this charge from the Lord.

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  3. Mary, I like the idea of the prayer bowl. Doing "extra" things for the Lord. Great concept. Dear one, thank you as always for blessing me.

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  4. Randy must have been praying hard because I picked the coffee fasting slip (lol)!

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  5. Mary, what a wonderful idea for Lent!!

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  6. What a great idea Mary, your daughter is such a blessing to you and Randy and you are a wonderful mother setting such good examples for her to follow. I love Lent, it is one of my favorite times of year......:-)Hugs

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  7. Love the fasting cup-great idea!

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  8. I like these ideas...wonderful to have something visible for the children (and us too). The empty cup that you fill with little sacrifices is very powerful. Thanks for this post.
    Andie

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  9. Thank you all for your comments! It's working out well so far and I hope it will become a yearly practice during Lent for the three of us.

    No "coffee headache" yet, either ;)

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  10. What great ideas! Love the fasting cup! Thanks for sharing!

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