Fasting Friday 5

Fasting Friday 5 April 12, 2019

On this last Friday in Lent before Good Friday, here are the last of the fasting and penitential ideas from Deacon Nick Senger along with the commentary of an ordinary lay slobovian penitent known as Yr Obdt. Svt.

  • Become a lector. This would require schedule adjustments that would wind up being a penance for my family, not me.
  • Volunteer to become an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. Same.
  • Volunteer to help with the parish youth group. Not addressed to my condition.
  • After each Mass stay awhile and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. This is doable.
  • Join the Knights of Columbus. Already done.  I wanted to find some way to help out with the pancake breakfasts, parish picnics, and so forth.  And I like the guys who are in it.  I was heartbroken when they dropped the Captain Crunch for Christ hats in favor of the British paramilitary beret look. I very much enjoyed the hilarious 19th century secret initiation rituals–which no mortal man may speak and live!  When I saw my buddy Gaylan the day after I was initiated and he asked how it went, I gripped him firmly by right hand, pulled him toward me, leaned into his ear and whispered, “HAIL HYDRA!”  I’ve said too much already.  They are coming!
  • Offer to be a Confirmation sponsor. Done this several times.
  • Volunteer to be an usher. Same problem as lectoring
  • Offer to help with funeral dinners. I did not know this was a thing.
  • Help with the RCIA program. I already do this.  I’ll be teaching the Resurrection in a couple of weeks.
  • Volunteer to do lawn work, cleaning or other needed maintenance for the parish. We have a staff guy who does that.
  • Begin to receive the Sacrament of Penance weekly.  I go when I need to.  Going when I don’t need to just promotes scruples.
  • Give up foul language. I wrestle with this.  I have a scruple about the biblical teaching against taking the name of God in vain.  So I don’t even say things like “OMG” and I do not swear in the biblical sense, nor say things like “God damn it” unless I am speaking with exacting theological precision about, say, the Christianist’s orgasmic love of cruelty and his zeal for kidnapping children at the border and disappearing them from their parents.  And I *never* call upon God to damn a person.  That is the most serious crime one can commit with one’s tongue in my view.  But I think profanity–merely course talk involving bodily functions–is trivial and resent the Puritan hyper-focus on this by Reactionaries who strain at gnats and swallow camels when you say a bad word, for example, in reaction to the kidnapping and sexual abuse of children by the ‘divinely anointed’ Trump Administration.  I resent the disgusting Puritanism of these Christianist sadists and I think, along with Flannery O’Connor that when people are deaf, you shout.  The prim Christianist who care more about saying shit or fuck than they have ever cared about the victims of their sadistic cruelty deserve to at least suffer from a little profanity hurting their precious feels.  At the same time, I also recognize there are innocents out there who are not guilty of this damnable hypocrisy and who are simply shocked at such language because they are gentle souls who just don’t talk this way.  So for their sake, I struggle with this impulse and have tried to dial it back, not for the sake of the Righteous monsters who use the unborn as human shields for their cruelty and who blaspheme the living God by invoking him to bless their sadism to the least of these.  They profane speech with such lies far more profoundly than any trivial cuss uttered in fury at their obscene sins.
  • Give up gossiping.  I could tell you so much about other people’s gossip.
  • Read and study Healing the Culture. No time.
  • Study the life of a different saint each day. Sometimes.  Not each day.
  • Cook dinner each night for your family if someone else normally does. We seldom eat together, alas.
  • Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I do this sometimes.
  • Carry extra food in your car, purse or backpack to give to street corner beggars. We keep various protein bars and such on hand for this.  It works pretty well.
  • Begin practicing socially conscious investing. This requires money.
  • Spend a week meditating on each of the seven principles of Catholic social teachingMy next book after the creed book will be on this.
  • Make breakfast each morning for your family. Ha!  No.

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