Well, it’s Ash Wednesday, thanks, thanks be to God! We head into forty days of intentional slowing-down, of being more prayerful, more thoughtful, less reactive. I don’t know about you, but I totally need some Lenten silence, discipline and turning away from the world, especially the world of politics right now.
What are you giving up for Lent? I am going to give up snacking and also commenting on Facebook. I’ll go there to link to something but I’m going to keep the piehole closed, and that’s going to be tough. But I need it tough. Lent needn’t be as difficult as this, but I do think Timothy P. O’Malley is correct, here. This is the perfect time to fast from suspicion, ideology and demonization. My soul, at least, needs it; I know that.
I meant to have my annual list of newly-published Lenten Reading suggestions for you, but have been very bad with my time; will have that up tomorrow, I promise! You know without my even saying, of course, that I am recommending this book and this one and this book but I have lots more, and even a course recommendation. For tomorrow. As we Benedictines are always encouraged to read something challenging in Lent, I have picked up a used copy of Principles of Catholic Theology by Joseph Ratzinger, aka our Holy Father.
I am also, at this very moment reading Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World, which was free on Kindle!
Did you get ashes today, even my non-Catholic friends? More and more Protestant churches around here seem to be offering them. If so, what does it mean to you, what do you think about it?
Last year I wrote about the Sermon I’d like to hear for Ash Wednesday:
“You remember the movie Moonstruck? It’s the story about an Italian family in Brooklyn, a mother named Rose, a father named Cosmo, and their daughter, Cher.
“There’s a part where the mother, Rose—who suspects her husband of cheating—says to the father, ‘Cosmo, I just want you to know that no matter what you do, you’re gonna die, just like everyone else!’
“And so is everyone in this church. You’re going to die. And no matter how well you think you’re doing, you’re screwing up, and I don’t need to tell you where you’re screwing up because you know where you’re screwing up.
“Later in the film, Rose warns her daughter . . . Cher . . . ‘your life’s goin’ down the toilet!’
“So is yours . . .
These ashes say that we are works in progress.
They say: please be patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.
He isn’t finished with any of us.
That is the great wonder and consolation of Lent.
And the promised Lotsa Links: and if you need more Check out New Advent
Pat Gohn’s Among Women Podcast has a roundtable of sorts, on Lenten practices and Devotions
Loving Lent. Weird as it may sound, lots of us really do love it. Forty days of mindfulness and meaning!
Desperate Irish Housewife: And they’re off!