About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“Father Daniel’s special work during his stay at Ihonatiria was with the children. Their parents had not trained or disciplined them, they were utterly lawless and bad-tempered, but with infinite forbearance and kindliness the missionary became a favorite with them… Having taught them to sing, he proceeded to train the children to chant the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Commandments, which he had rendered into Huron rhymes. Formed into a choir, they added beauty and solemnity to the chapel services and attracted great numbers of their elders to Mass.”
— From the Life of Saint Antoine Daniel (d. 1648)

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A New Way to Decide What to Give up for Lent
published 2 March 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

Many years ago I got an inspiration. Instead of deciding myself what to give up for Lent, why not ask the family. I was surprised. Since my main sins involve anger, I was sure they would pick that. Instead they all agreed: Mom, you are such a puddleglum – a character in C.S. Lewis who is always pessimistic. What ever anyone suggests to do, you come up with the worst case prognosis! It’s downright depressing!

I was surprised, especially that they all agreed. I noticed that they were right and tried to be more upbeat. So, when Lent came around I started suggesting to my students “Ask those close to you, your daily victims, what they wish you would change as a Lenten sacrifice.” Of course, I don’t know how successful that was, since it would be prying to ask them whether their families and friends were happy with the improvement.

Here’s another more subtle one to prime your pump on this spiritual exercise. My marriage was kinda rocky. Once I suddenly asked my husband, “So, what do you hate about me most?” He thought for awhile and came up with this ringer: “Well, you’re a teacher. So you are used to grading students. Whatever I do or we do together, you, so to speak, give it a grade afterward, as in 'that was a great evening or, that evening was awful.’ It makes me feel like a little kid in school being judged for everything!”

So, do you dare ask your close ones what they wish you would change for Lent? If you feel like it, you could stick your resolution on comments and we will pray for you as you struggle!

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.