I've heard the phrase "offer it up" my whole life. But what does it really mean? Other than as a more religious way to say "quick your belly-aching."
So I did a little research.
I found this by Scott P. Richert
and this over at Fisheaters.
And what it comes down to is that when we are suffering - either through our own sacrifices (my that chocolate looks good, why did I give it up for Lent?) or through daily annoyances (aches and pains, rude people, alarm clocks that go off too early - even if that's the time they're set for) - we accept these things without complaining and ask God to use our suffering for the benefit of others.
This can be done through a formal prayer or informal prayer.
Jesus offered his suffering for all our sakes. We can imitate Jesus in this small way - and also offer our suffering for the sake of others.
Will it make the suffering go away? No. The aches and pains will still be there. The bad drivers will still be there. The chocolate will still be there (and not being eaten). And morning will still come when we want to sleep. But we can pray and God will allow these sufferings to be redemptive for ourselves and others.
Something to think about.
As far as Lenten Links - today I found:
Danielle Bean with more food for thought.
Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii has a Lenten resolution for the day.
Easter has a beautiful prayer posted.
And I found this article about why we give things up for Lent at Ignatius Insight.
If anyone else would like to join in this Lenten Challenge and post about something that helps bring you closer to God - please let me know - and I will link to you - or just leave an inspirational comment. I can use all the inspiration I can get!