“Whatever It Takes to Make Lent Hardcore”: Melinda Selmys

“Whatever It Takes to Make Lent Hardcore”: Melinda Selmys February 13, 2016

has a series, some of the premises of which I dispute (and I may write a bit more about that later), but which includes some fascinating thoughts and stories. Take what you need and leave the rest, as they say.

Several years back a friend of mine decided to give up furniture for Lent. The problem that she was facing was that for several years before that she had used Lent as a time to add observances like the Divine Office to her daily schedule. When Easter rolled around, she would just continue with the habits that she had established during Lent, but this created a dilemma: if you don’t go back to your usual habits after Lent, then you can’t just recycle the same old Lenten mortification year after year. So she needed something original.

Since she was in the process of moving to a new apartment and had no convenient way to move her furnishings, she decided that she would just abandon it and go without for the Lenten season. As it happened, she discovered that most of the things that she owned that took up most of the space in her apartment were literally unnecessary – so she didn’t bother replacing them when Easter rolled around.

Now, obviously I’m not going to suggest that everyone should put the contents of their living room on the curb. What I am going to suggest is that the way that we think about Lent usually confines us to a fairly limited spectrum of possible mortifications, most of which are kind of dull and not especially spiritually efficacious.


Browse Our Archives