Email from Cana 90 – Day 4
Discerning Your Commitments of Mercy
“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13
Through our fasting and prayer we learn how to control ourselves, and thus give ourselves more freely to others. The first people we are called as married couples to give ourselves to is our family – first our spouse and then our children. Use this Lent to change your perspective on how you relate to your family. Instead of giving them what you owe them, lavish them with love above and beyond what they deserve, as our Father does with us. As it says in Romans 12, “Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Yesterday we talked about fasting from things that consume our time and energy. Today we will challenge you to now fill that time with acts of love that go beyond what you would normally do. Use this time to create better habits of spending time with your children. And the time that you do spend with them, spend it well!
Above all other relationships, you should consider how you will show mercy to your spouse. This is the most important human relationship you have, so take the time to ask your spouse how you can love them rightly this Lent. Love them more and better by seeking to do little things that will make their life easier, or just make them smile. Maybe you should resolve to rid yourself of a habit that they find annoying. These habits may not be wrong, but refraining from them demonstrates what mercy is: it is giving above and beyond what is required of us.
You can also choose to use this time to create healthier habits in regards to things that are not desirable for your relationships. In your family, maybe it’s refraining from negative humor and sarcasm. Maybe it’s raising your voice. Use this Lent to shine a light on your habits towards family members that need to change. Just as cutting back on food or activities that are not good for us anyway, making a resolution to change how we relate to our family members is also effective use of this time of Lent.
Today do these 3 things:
- Read over the options for Mercy Commitments listed below. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to pick 5 things that you feel called to do.
- Set aside a time today to discuss these with your spouse. Maybe you can text them right now your 5 options so they can think about them during the day and then decide tonight which 2 or 3 that you will choose to commit to. Get ready to start these commitments tomorrow, though we won’t be keeping track of Victory Points until Monday. Continue your Prayer and Fasting Commitments made already.
- Pray for the 825 couples around the world who are also doing this Cana90 Lenten Journey. Let’s support each other as Catholic families walking this road to heaven together.
- Keep a look out for the spreadsheet, additional encouragement, and a video on Sunday!
Showing Mercy Commitment Options: Choose 5 and then discuss with your spouse and commit to 2 or 3 (all of these can be done as an individual, as a couple, or as a family)
For your children…
- Read together daily.
- Play board games daily, weekly.
- Resolve to greet them each morning with a smile and a hug.
- Take them on a special date each week or each month.
- Write notes of affirmation.
- Small acts of kindness – consider their Love Language
- Do one of their chores.
- Purchase for them a small trinket that they like.
- Take them to a park
- Take them for a walk
- Other: ______________________
For your Spouse…
- Write notes of affirmation
- Ask your spouse what habit they would like you to break
- Making a point to greet your spouse intentionally with love
- Kiss them before work and upon return home
- Commit to a weekly date night
- Read or listen to a book together. Discuss it.
- Ask your spouse how you can serve them weekly and do it
- Do one daily act of kindness
- Give yourselves to each other physically more regularly
- Other: _________________
- Eliminate negative humor
- Random daily acts of kindness for other
- Serve the poor together as a family
- Visit a nursing home as a family
- Pray in front of an abortion clinic as a family
- Consider giving away slightly used items for the poor
- Collect donations for the poor in your community