“The 40 days of Lent” has always been more of a metaphor than a literal count and begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sunset before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. It is a penitential season of prayer, fasting, alms-giving and a time to hit the ‘pause button’ on life and take stock of our spiritual journey.
Although, many choose to give up a favorite food or activity, Lent does not always have to be about giving up something, rather it can be about doing something new. Hopefully, this new discipline will even have a lasting effect and is something you’ll continue long after the Lenten Season has ended. Finding a few extra moments in a busy day for peaceful prayer, sharing a meal with someone who needs the companionship as much as the nutrition, or saying grace before meals might just be one of those things.
Saying grace is a time-honored tradition for many families. This ritual, whether spoken in a fancy dining room, at the kitchen table or around a camp-fire is a spiritual connection celebrating life and reminding us of our many blessings.
This is the traditional Catholic prayer that my family prays:
Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord.