Confronting Sin, Embracing Virtue

Hello my friends! 🌹

Soooooo…not only is it Valentine’s day this Wednesday, but more importantly – Ash Wednesday!!

Lent is a time in the Catholic church of fasting, penance, and the confrontation of sin.  

Lent allows us the time to truly ponder the questions:

  • What am I doing for God with my life?

  • What are things/sins keeping me from becoming the best-version-of-myself?

  • How can I love God more? How can I grow in my relationship with Christ?

If you have yet to think about some ideas this year, I thought it would be neat to look closer at the “7 deadly sins” in our journey to confront our sins and in turn, conquer them by replacing them with virtues we can strive to work toward instead!  I hope any little bit helps! 🌻

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Confronting Sin, Striving for VIRTUE

Confronting the sins of: 

  • PRIDE: arrogance, vanity, lack of humility, a disordered sense of your own importance.
  • ENVY: jealousy, wanting what others have

Conquer sins of pride and envy by replacing those sins with opportunities to grow in humility, gentleness, charity, and kindness 

  • Pray the Litany of Humility each day
  • If you’re judgmental, pray for every person you see
  • Choose to LISTEN instead of speaking
  • Taking 2-3 seconds to respond to someone when you are talking to them
  • Allow others have the spotlight
  • Practice random acts of kindness and tell no one about it!
  • Volunteer, visit the sick, the lonely the, imprisoned once a week
  • Give up looking in the mirror more than (insert # here) times a day
  • not putting on make-up on the weekends
  • Adding in daily affirmations when you do look in the mirror/put on make up
    • “My name is ____ & I am a beautiful and radiant daughter of God.  My name is ____ & I am beautifully and wonderfully made.” 
  • Compliment at least one person each day
  • Strive to reach out and make intentional conversation with a coworker, a family member, your grandparents, your siblings.

Confronting the sin of: LUST: disordered attachment to pleasure, “using people like they are things”

  • God gave us the great gift of desire, however let us ask for the prudence, humility, wisdom, patience, knowledge, and strength to grow in abstinence and chastity  –to look at another with dignity and not as an object of use.  
    • You may want to start a dating fast!
    • Pray a Hail Mary when an impure thought consumes your mind, ask for Our Lady’s guidance toward purity.
    • Instead: Give Glory to God for His beautiful creation by saying a “Glory Be”
    • Pray for this person’s vocation, remember that they truly and ultimately belong to God.  Pray for the prudence, patience, and purity of heart to see this person’s dignity and for the opportunity to lead them toward heaven.
    • Find an accountability partner, text them each time you are feeling tempted.
    • Book recommendations to grow in prudence, chastity,  Men and Women and the Mystery of Love by Edward Sri, Emotional Virtue by Sarah Swafford

Confronting the sins of: 

  • GREED: disordered attachments to material possessions
  • GLUTTONY: “you can never have enough of what you DON’T need.”
  • SLOTH: we’re doing things other than what God has asked us or invited us to do.

Replace greediness/gluttony with opportunities to grow in selflessness, wisdom, knowledge, love, hope, faith, and temperance 

  • Don’t buy anything besides the essentials during Lent. Buy only food, transportation costs, allergy medicine, bare minimums!
  • Donate a small amount to a good cause, your favorite charity, buy a meal for a friend or a coworker, pack a lunch for a homeless person
  • Give up your pillow
  • Give up taking hot showers
  • Complete The Closet Challenge!
  • Delete social media from your phone/choose to leave your phone in the car when hanging out with friends/family in order to be more present to those around you.
  • Give up watching TV, instead pray the rosary, go to adoration, pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for a prayer intention or different person each day!
  • Read, watch, listen, eat, drink, do, say only things that focus on being a temple of God.  Sign up for The Dynamic Catholic’s “Best Lent Ever“! and choose to watch their videos daily
  • Give up listening to music in the car, say a prayer instead, listen to a podcast about your faith, practice being silent with the Lord.
  • Take a walk, pray the rosary while you’re at it! Spiritual and physical exercise! 😉
  • If you are struggling with addiction, take on the challenge to find help this Lent.  Surrender this to the Lord and ask Him to guide you in this.  You are not alone.

Confronting the sin of: {WRATH uncontrolled anger}

  • When you are angry, you have choices – wrath, or forgiveness & patience.    
    • Replace road range with a prayer for a reckless driver
    • Say a short prayer of your choice at a stop light
    • Pray for those who have wronged you
    • Pray a rosary for those who have persecuted or hurt you
    • Write a letter to somebody you need to forgive
    • Write letters of gratitude or notes of affirmation for 40 different people you are thankful for each day during lent
    • Offer up 5 minutes, or an hour of time in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration for those who have hurt you
    • Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy each day –Unite your suffering with the Lord by reminding yourself that He himself suffered for all our sins and is a God of mercy & forgiveness.  
    • Simply say “Jesus, I trust in You” each day at 3PM (the time of our Lord’s death on the cross).  **tip: set a reminder on your phone daily!** 🙂

If you are having a hard time identifying your sin at this moment, pray about it.

Know that I am praying for you always.  I pray that your heart may come to know Jesus more deeply during this year’s lenten season.  I pray that in the midst of suffering, you may see how deeply we can unite that suffering with Jesus’ and in turn – take part in the great glory of His resurrection at Easter.

“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” ROMANS 8:18

 

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