Fasting Friday 2

Fasting Friday 2 March 22, 2019

Continuing from last Friday, we keep looking at ways suggested by Deacon Nick Senger to observe fasting during Lent, along with my commentary in boldface.  My commentary, understand, is not meant to tell you what to think about these suggestions, still less what to do in response to them.  If any of them speak to you then by all means try it whatever response I happen to have to them. Rather, the idea is to, if you will, provide a sort of chatty model of free-flowing dialogue that you can join in with at the comboxes with your own ideas or responses.  In short, I’m trying to get the conversational juices flowing here.  I want to elicit, not silence, conversation.

  • Switch from regular radio to Christian music radio or Catholic talk radio. I live in a largely radio-free world.  I don’t even play the music on my computer when I’m working since it impairs my ability to think clearly.  So this is not addressed to my condition.
  • Avoid shows with gratuitous sex or violence. Not my cup of tea anyway.
  • Give up or limit watching sports on television. I lack the sports gene anyway.
  • Listen to only classical music for the next 40 days. Music is for pleasure, not for spinach. I don’t see the point of making music a form of penance. If you are going to do penance, do penance.  Don’t turn intrinsically non-penitential things into penance.  It’s like diet pizza or 2% chocolate milk.  Either indulge or fast, but don’t don’t half-ass pleasures by making them unpleasant.
  • Drive to work in silence each day. I drive from my bed to my desk, a total distance of one foot. To my credit, I do it in silence as a rule.
  • Read a work of classic literature. Okay.  But that doesn’t seem very penitential either.  I think I might give The Pickwick Papers a whack.
  • Read a Catholic classicDoes the Bible count?  I’m trying to read it more than I have been lately.
  • Read a story to a child. That sounds fun!
  • Sit in fifteen minutes of silence each day. As an extrovert trapped in an introvert’s job, I regard the prospect of silence as both frustrating and impossible.  My head is full of talk and silencing it is just battening down the lid on a pressure cooker.  I need to get things out.  And God is mostly who I have to talk to.  15 minutes of silence just feels like a pointless time out where I am literally watching the clock till I can get back to doing something useful.
  • Write a letter to God each day. For a writer who spends all day writing about the Faith and God, this like carrying coals to Newcastle or telling scuba diver to practice swimming more. I take my prayer walks to escape writing.
  • Set time limits on overall online time. I refuse to discuss this on the grounds that it may incriminate me.
  • Limit Facebook timeTrying.
  • Limit Myspace time. Myspace is some kind of Pleistocene-era tech, if memory serves. This list was put together ten years ago.
  • Resist making or adding to lists that rank people. That’s not a thing for me.
  • Share one spiritual video with your online network once a week. Done and done! See below.
  • Blog about the poor once a week. See Almgiving Monday.
  • Add a spiritual blog to your blog reader. No time.  Sorry.
  • Subscribe to a prayer podcast like Pray As You Go or Pray Station PortableNo time.  Sorry.
  • Leave an encouraging or positive comment on a different blog each day. I’ll give this a whirl.
  • Help a new blogger by sending traffic their way. She’s not a new blogger, but Heather King is quite good.

And here, in fulfilment of my promise above, I give you John Cleese reading The Screwtape Letters:

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