The Big Book of Lent and Easter – UPDATED

Ash Wednesday OOR

Every Ash Wednesday I put away Book III of the Liturgy of the Hours, and pull out Book II for the Lenten and Easter Season.Book III is pretty big, but Book II is "the big book." It's a book that carries a little bit of penance for me, on days when the arthritis in my hands is acting up, because just holding it in prayer sometimes makes me aware of pain. The book gets heavy, but Lent is a heavy time; as my prayer is distracted, I simply offer it up -- I look at the crucifix on my oratory and … [Read more...]

Prayer and Penance: Did Twitter Hasten Benedict’s Retirement?

benedict in shadow

In hindsight, we're seeing clues, now, and reading words he uttered indicating that Pope Benedict XVI has clearly been thinking of renouncing the papal throne for some time.Forgive me if this sounds absurd on the face of it, but I am wondering if, despite these pieces of evidence, Benedict's recent entry into Twitter has had anything to do with the seeming abruptness of his announcement.Before you scoff, consider: the pope's interest in, and support of, the church's engagement with new … [Read more...]

A Gentle, Encouraging Voice for Lent

margaret book

When I invited Margaret Rose Realy to develop her beautiful blog here at Patheos, I did it for the authenticity and clarity of her contemplative voice, as with this voice:I remember a couple of months ago several Goldfinches rocketing across the backyard. I wondered if there was a disagreement about whose yard it was. Typical of these lively little birds, they are unconcerned about my purpose or presence in what they have claimed as their territory. They continued to dart about and I … [Read more...]

“Salt and Light”: Tasty, Clarifying stuff for Lent!

Salt and Light cover

So, I have a pile of books that have come my way, freebies--gifts from publishers or authors hoping I will read their book and recommend it--and I am feeling terrible that so many books have come in and received nothing but silence on this end.Since I really do need a little downtime from the ordinary routine, I think I will spend the rest of January trying to get at least a good sense of some of these books and letting you know about them. Tonight, this book was on top of my pile, so I … [Read more...]

Yes We Can: the Hospitality of Lent

serving hands

When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice. If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will. There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him. -- Sirach 15:14-17Read in conjunction with this, and in light of all of my pathetic failings of which I moan to God in prayer, it occurs to me that I've spent my whole life … [Read more...]

Ash Wednesday: 2 Sermons, 5 Books Lotsa Links!


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.If you're not sure what all the hubbaloo is about, Marys Aggies explains it all or, if you don't feel like reading, here's a great two-minute video!What are you giving up for … [Read more...]

Slubgrip Instructs; Luciferian Lessons for Lent

From now and through Lent Fr. Dwight Longenecker will be providing twice-weekly peeks into the inner-workings of the mind and classrooms of Prof. Slubgrip, as he tries to snap some Luciferian fire into his wormish students. . .over the next few sessions my dear fellows, we will be considering the delightful area of temptation called popular culture. The whole area is expanding exponentially at this time, and while we have some real experts already working in the field, there is always room for … [Read more...]

Prayer Penance and Pain – UPDATED

For reasons not worth getting into, there are times when my entire body is just one big ball of pain, where every inch of me aches. Usually it has to do with an incoming storm, or a weather system that is passing nearby.It happened tonight. We had a beautifully warm day, and I had no idea what the weather reports were saying, but I should have known we were due for rain because by suppertime I was almost blind from pain. After putting the dishes away I hit the sack, hoping an hour's nap … [Read more...]

Macaroni and Cheese-a-palooza

Buster is visiting from college for a few days and when I asked if there was anything special he wanted me to cook he cocked the eyebrow and said, "it's Lent. Friday is coming. What else but Macaroni and Cheese?"In our family, mac and cheese is a pretty simple affair, but people go mad for it; a few weeks ago the kids had a party here and the buffet menu had to include mac & cheese, which was the first tray to empty.What's lovely about this is it is creamy, and you can add anything … [Read more...]

Taking the Morning Off – UPDATED

It's very bright-white-snowy-glarey out there. It's a day for lounging on the sofa with a steaming hot cup of Mystic Monk Hazelnut Coffee and catching up on some Lenten reading.I understand some found my prognostications on the economy yesterday much too cheerless and my email suggests that I have a Christian duty to come up with something amusing today.That will take a bit of coffee...and don't read this. Or this.Read this - it's funny. If it were real it would be even better!But … [Read more...]