Thursday, August 26, 2010

What I & My Pals Are Doing...

I know I haven't been posting much, but with moving, the weather here in SoCal, and life in general, I haven't been up to writing. So, this is what me and my pals have been up to...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

These 40 Days of Lent

I've been seeing a lot of posts about Lent, especially since today's Ash Wednesday. It used to be a bigger deal when I was younger, but maybe that was because I was with my family or at a Catholic college (INO) or lastly in a very active Dominican parish. Now it seems to be a speed bump on my daily calendar. Being in a Catholic culture is very important to a faith life. I think its the advantage we have over the strictly me-thou relationships touted by our more radical separated brethren. it is also why the Church emphasizes in the Readings for Ash Wednesday (Find them here). The readings are placed in the community, not to the individual on his own. Why? Because the individual can't maintain the pace on his own, he needs to support of others (much like the cheering crowds lining a marathon boosting the runner to the finish line).

Consider the 3 practices the Church emphasizes during Lent.

Fasting is by far the one the gets the greatest emphasis ("I'm giving up such and such for Lent" is a form of fasting in my book). (Side thought: If you're giving up something what's replacing it? "Nature abhors a vacuum" --> Back to your regularly scheduled discourse...).
Almsgiving and Prayer are also part of this Lenten season. To what are you giving? Are you limiting yourself to giving money? Are you accepting the help being offered to you? (There are 2 sides to an act of charity, and to receive graciously is just as much an act of charity as giving). Are you giving effectively? (You can bury someone in charity and do additional harm, but to give what is truly needed, even if a small amount, works miracles!).
What is the nature of your prayer? Are you bombarding God with Rosaries and devotions, or are you saying them contentiously and intently (I HATE going to funeral Rosaries where the prayers are spouted off like machine gun bullets without the time or ability to think about either the person we're remembering or the Mystery we're supposed to be contemplating). I call on you to pray BETTER rather than MORE this Lent, as God (already) know we need every bit of help we can get. Also pray in thanksgiving for the gifts He already gives us. Think of how often you give a gift and it remains unacknowledged or unappreciated (like a gift of underwear at Christmas). Or when was the last time God was asked "What do You want for Lent?" (Yeah, I know God doesn't need anything, but He likes to get asked...)

Anyway, that's just a few ideas I've been kicking around in my head. Please remember those who are joining the Church this Easter. (I've always loved doing the RCIA, and know that they're really just now are realizing just what they're getting themselves into.). Have a blessed Lent, and God Bless You.