Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lent and Me — Update

I realized we're about halfway through Lent, which is often enough time to realize the benefits of our sacrifices. So a brief update from me.

Giving up:
  • Most of the internet, except for Happy Catholic which will be like my little hermitage. No Facebook, Goodreads, or Letterboxd.
    These have been surprisingly easy to live without. So much so that I can foresee not returning to active participation when Lent is finished. Of course, I can also see how much avoidance I was practicing by spending a lot of time on those sites. And I can still post things on Facebook from here by using the Facebook symbol and it won't take me into the Facebook forum.
Adding on:
  • Daily Mass during the week. I've been dreading it. Not dreading Mass but getting myself to follow a strict enough schedule to fit it in. That's the challenge.
    This has been the real toughie. I realized just how indulgent I've been with my timing. Working at home, I rarely had to get myself going by a certain time in the morning. This self discipline has been wearing but definitely good for me. I don't doubt that daily Mass is also good for me but those are results that I can't see right now. Seeds planted in the earth need time for germination and doubtless that is the result of daily communion.
  • Lenten Nonfiction

    The Power of Silence by Cardinal Sarah.
    I began this a couple of weeks ago and a few paragraphs daily are perfect morning reading for Lent.
    I read about 2/3 of this and then needed no more silence from that particular source. It was quite good, just a bit long on the topic for me. This may also be influenced by the fact that I'd read Sarah's book God or Nothing right before and it also had many meditations on silence woven throughout.

    The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander.
    This is a series of meditations upon Mary which are linked to the practical and inspirational in our own lives. It is profoundly Christocentric, as any good meditations upon Mary must be.

  • Lenten Fiction

    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
    Waiting for Heather Ordover at CraftLit to begin Anne of Green Gables I roamed over her vast library and remembered that I didn't listen to Little Women when she covered it. I picked up the audiobook to accompany her excellent commentary. Reading it when younger I never paid attention to the Pilgrim's Progress theme that runs throughout. Heather is making sure I don't miss that theme and the simplicity of the book's old fashioned values is proving quite strengthening right now. I realized this morning that it is also excellent Lenten reading.
    This was really inspirational despite the simplicity. It was the return to roots which helps anchor me in everyday life.

    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    The effects of sin, confessed and unconfessed, on the perpetrators and everyone around them — all wrapped in a compelling story.


  1. Stick with daily Mass. :-) I began the practice 17 years ago, and I'm so glad that I did. It was hard at first to get up early in the morning, but I just know that life is much easier when I start my day with Jesus in the Eucharist.

    1. I will definitely keep your advice in mind as I go forward after Easter. Thank you! :-)