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Keeping Love in Lent: Praise Him- part 1

 
"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”


As I sit down to write this post, we are on day #5 of the plague that has infected our house.  It started on Ash Wednesday and has yet to relent.  Today is Sunday.  I went to mass early this morning and my husband is at mass now. I just finished getting my two youngest out of the tub, and my oldest is taking a shower.  I am hoping that somehow the water will miraculously wash away this illness.  But I am not holding my breath.

This Lent has not started the way I wanted it to.  Not by a long shot. When I signed up for this Link up, I envisioned writing a cute post with lots of family pictures of us praying together. You know, attempting to look holy.  But instead, you can read my reality here and see it here.

Thankfully, God has different plans. And His ways are always better.  And so, I feel led to write about Praise.  Ever since going to Created for Care, I have been struck with my desire for Praise and Worship.  My NEED to praise Him.  And, how much better my prayers are, how much more clearly I hear Him, when I Praise Him before I enter into any other form of prayer.  

2639   Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God,121 testifying to the only Son in whom we are adopted and by whom we glorify the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal: the “one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.”122 (213) - Catechism of the Catholic Church (emphasis mine)
 
I love this quote from the Catechism.  Our spirit is united with the Holy Spirit when we praise HIM, simply because He is.  I do not just feel closer to God, I am closer to God and hear HIM better when I praise HIM, because I am united with the Holy Spirit when I do so.

So, I am working on praising HIM more this Lent.  And I think I get why this Lent has been so hard so far.  He is trying to make it real to me that I need to praise HIM simply because HE IS.  Not because HE has given me perfectly healthy kids,  that all love doing their school work each day and cannot wait to do our Lenten prayers (with a hint of sarcasm).  But simply because HE is a BIG GOD. HE is awesome. HE is holy. And worthy of my praise. 

That is where detachment starts.  Because, if I can get a bit better this Lent on focusing on the prayer of praise, I will be less shaken when things are not going the way that I want them to.  I will become less detached to the "rub"of the day to day trials and more focused on where HE is in those trials.

So, this post will continue in several parts because I really want it to be interactive and talk about ways to Praise HIM and why verbal praise can be so powerful.  Now, I would love your input . . .

What are ways you love to Praise God?
 
Thanks for visiting!

Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.

Discover new Catholic Blogs to follow!

Building Rocks(pending)

      
 

Comments

  1. I've noticed that Lent always comes with crosses for me so it's hard to praise God during Lent. But I will try this year thanks to your challenge.

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    1. Anabelle- I am beginning to think that Lent is supposed to be hard. After reading so many great posts about Lent, it seems that God uses hard Lents to bring us closer to Him.

      Have a blessed Lent!

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  2. Lent has also come with crosses for me too. Great reminder though to praise God for what I have and for my crosses. Rejoice even in times of darkness.

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    1. Thanks Crystal! Have a blessed and fruitful Lent!

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  3. Out of darkness will come great light - what an excellent reminder.

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    1. . . . and the light always overcomes the darkness!

      Blessed Lent, Amy!

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  4. God bless you - what a difficult (but appropriate, perhaps) way to begin Lent!

    I have finally, being older and wiser now, begun to praise God in all things. It has done wonders for my attitude. We went to Stations on Friday and outside of church my 2yo, while chasing her brothers, fell and broke her front tooth which had to be pulled. Years ago, that would have been a huge burden. Now, through all the time at the dentist, I was just thanking God that she was well and it wasn't worse.

    I will pray for you. Thanks for writing!

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    1. Have you read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? I loved that book and it helped me so much to see the gifts (and therefore to see how to thank HIM) for everything.

      Have a blessed Lent! I will pray for you too!

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  5. So tough but so true -- even when life unravels around us, the "still, small voice" remains if we listen. Hope your family is on the mend! Good Lent to you.

    Regina
    http://www.alivinggarden.com

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    1. Regina- It has taken almost a week, but I think we are all finally better!

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  6. I admire your commitment to praising HIM in the midst of the challenges life presents. I'm still recovering from an illness that knocked me out a couple of weeks ago - thank you for the encouragement to give Him the glory! God bless you!

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    1. Hope you recover soon Sarah! God Bless you too!

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  7. Oh goodness. I needed to see this - my Lent is very cross-filled and it's so hard to not complain but even moreso, to PRAISE HIM! I think God is gently nudging me .... to Him be the glory!

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    1. Have a blessed Lent Kim! Praise God for the "nudges"!

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  8. Lent has also been challenging for me so far, and I know I've failed in praising Him in all things. :) Thank you for the reminder to PRAISE Him just because HE IS. :D Thank you, too, for joining the link-up! God bless you and yours always! :)

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  9. What a great goal for LENT. You know, that prayerful life is something I'm lacking too. And I think praising him in prayer is a great way to remember that GOD is there not just when things are bad, but for always! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I think my comment just disappeared...
    Anywho, I think I'm lacking in my prayer life too. And the idea of always praising him first in prayer is a great reminded that God isn't just there to hear our requests. He is there no matter what, and he listens all the time. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Hi Katie, I think that's what's missing in our world today. We are a society of many beliefs with the main focus being on ourselves. Praising God reminds us that He is awesome, He is a BIG God and He is Holy. We live by the Grace of God yet we don't act like it. I'm working on it myself to do what I was called to do: to know Him, love Him and serve Him.

    I would have to say my most favorite way to praise God is at Eucharistic Adoration. It's so quiet and absolutely peaceful that I can sing, in my head, a song of praise or have a conversation with Jesus. Sometimes I become teary eyed when I thank Him for all the blessings He's bestowed on me and my family.

    From your header, I can ascertain that you're a runner. Do you pray when you're running?

    It's a few days later from when you wrote your post, praying that your children are all healthy and that you and your hubby didn't catch it!

    May God bless you and keep you in His loving embrace during this Lenten Season!

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    1. Noreen-
      I love it too, when I am alone at adoration and I can sing and praise out loud.

      I am a runner and some of my best prayer times have been on my long runs. There is something about being outside, alone, in the quiet that makes it so easy to connect with God.

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  12. Stopping by as part of the Keep Love in Lent link-up...

    Thank you for reminding us of one very important type of prayer--praise prayer! It is so easy to fall into a pattern of just asking for things from our Loving Father, especially as we look around and see all the need--the people without jobs, the kids without parents, the lonely senior citizens, the war, the hatred, etc., etc. Yet praising Him is so very, very important too!

    I think that all forms of prayer help us hear God better when he is speaking to us. He will guide you in your adoption journey if it is meant to be. My husband and I adopted a little girl almost six years ago from another country. The process was tedious and frustrating and I often wondered if our daughter would ever be home with us. I spent hours in prayer, asking for God to give me wisdom and patience, and thanking him for the patience He had already given me! But in the long run, it all worked out in His perfect time and perfect way.

    Blessings to you and your family this Lent!

    Cheryl
    http://www.diary-of-a-sower.blogspot.com

    Wis

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    1. Cheryl-

      I can relate to your adoption journey. We have not even started anything and it has been years of praying, listening to HIS timing to get to the point we are at now, which is we are starting the process within the next month. I have learned lots if patience and trust already, which is such a blessing.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. Have a blessed Lent.

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  13. Not to stray off topic, but I LOVE your new look!!! Keep it up! I have yet to figure out how to put pics on a Cutest Blog on the Block background without margins and such being off.

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    1. Thank you! I used Picasa and it worked fine, but I did have to play with the sizes of the pictures.

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  14. Praising God was not a part of my worship before my conversion to Catholicism. Now I freely praise God when I recognize his blessings. I had an amazing experience on 9-11-01 in DC. I saw the flames of the burning Pentagon from our apartment window across the Potomac. I found myself saying, "Praise you, Jesus!" and he came into the situation and calmed me down. I wasn't praising him FOR the situation, but for working through it with me.
    If you would like to be fb friends, friend me at Nancy Cook Ward.

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    1. Nancy-

      I find it interesting that praise was not a part of your worship until you became Catholic. The only reason I say that is that I had my conversion outside of the church, surrounded by people of many different denominations and I attribute my love for praise from my experience with that community.

      I love your account of 9/11 and hoe praise calmed you down. It is so powerful, isn't it?

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  15. Thank you for this important reminder. I often find myself thanking God for blessings, and requesting guidance, but these are not the same as just praising him because HE IS. I agree with Noreen that adoration is a good time for praise, but I still spend most of my time there asking him to help others. Definitely something to try. Glad to read your family is on the mend.

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    1. Elisa-

      Yes, I often find myself confusing thanking Him for the blessings of my life and simply praising Him. It is something that I am working on too!

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  16. So sorry about the sickness. that was us shortly before Christmas this year and then, even though I thought we were done with it, my son upchucked all over the car on Christmas itself. Ugh! (Sorry for the visual)... On a more pleasant note - YES! praise! It is awesome. One way we do so is by singing with the kids to a modified version of "This is the day..." I thought I had a blog post about it which I was going to share the link eith, but I just realized it's one of my many unfinished and unposted ones. I will try to remember to stop by to share when I get it up, or you can subscribe at Training Happy Hearts -- or just check there on Sundays -- for it. Sorry.

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  17. I love the name of your blog! If I had a dollar for everyone who told me I had my hands full, I could use it to put my kids through college. I'm sure they mean well. But I like how you've tweaked it a bit!

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    1. That is why I named my blog that. After my third was born, I heard that ALL THE TIME. Mainly, it was because I had all boys and somehow that invoked strangers' pity.

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  18. Hi Katie,

    I have a Katie in my house too. She's my fifth. So many of you remind me of myself about 15 years ago. Now my kids are 23,21,19,17, 15, and 12. They were born from 1990-2000. I missed a decade of technology, music, and pop culture. Now, I'm catching up with blogging, and the rest. I remember many winters of someone on the house always sick. It's funny how we have expectations of even Lent, when it is really a 'strip us down to bare bone' spiritiuality. Nothing is easy, is it? I hope you are all a bit stronger now, immune-wise. God Bless.

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  19. I hope you are all feeling better now...after your rough illness-filled start to Lent. It's seems to be another reminder of holiness through our vocation...and how plans and coping change. God's Plan always IS better...and God has blessed you to be able to recognize that while you're going through the yuckiness of flu in the family!

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