And now the time is almost here

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My stomach has butterflies today, but then it always does on Shrove Tuesday. Today will be a day of celebration, in its way. We'll go to the K of C Pancake Supper tonight at church. We'll eat, drink and be merry, knowing that tomorrow will begin the season we all, secretly or openly, welcome and adore.

We live in a culture of excess--too much food, too much drink, too much sex, too much stuff. I contend it's why we have a hard time following the church calendar--it's almost impossible, in a culture of permanent feasting, to make feast days anything really special. We need to recapture some sense of "ordinary time"--a time from which it is possible to go UP for feast days (without breaking the bank, a la Christmas) and DOWN for fast days (which wouldn't include spending more on food by buying expensive fish than you would on a regular day!). But that's an essay for ordinary time. Remind me later, and I'll tell you what I think.

But that's why I think Lent has such a hold on our imaginations and hearts. We KNOW we live in excess. The voluntary shedding of that is something we CAN do, and makes us feel objectively good to do it. So we ponder our spiritual lives. What will be enough. What should I be doing that I'm not. What will cause me enough discomfort to call my mind to Christ, but not so much that I fall away from the program altogether. There is a frisson of excitement about denial. It does our heart good.

I, like the rest of you, have been pondering. Today will be the time that the pondering will end, and the program will be set. I suspect that a major part of it will be praying the Liturgy of the Hours from the Book of Divine Worship. I also think that it will entail getting my physical house in order and bringing a sense of holy workmanship and attention to detail to the volunteer work I have set my hand to. Ora et labora, so to speak. And I'll be meditating through my Conversation with God book.

But all the programs and intentions in the world won't make a difference unless they bring us closer to the crucified Christ. May we, like the blessed Virgin, be willing to walk with Jesus all the way to the Cross.

Bless us, every one.


Very nice post, MamaT. Thanks.

So well written. Thanks for putting it all in perspective. Enjoy the season! :)

Your post really was excellent. But I had to laugh at your comment about excess . . . not because it was silly, but because it reminded me how much out of synch my Catholicism puts me with the rest of my workplace. (Including, alas, several Catholics.)

I fasted during Advent, while everyone else was scarfing down Christmas goodies, drinking, and generally making merry. Then, I feasted during the Christmas season (Dec. 25 and c.), while my co-workers all went on the South Beach diet to lose the weight they'd gained during Advent.

Now they're all getting burned out on South Beach (having been on it since New Year's) and are getting ready to resume feasting, while I begin fasting again for Lent.

What a world! :-)

Nice MamaT. Your line about our not recognizing a feast day if we knew it has been bouncing in my head the last few days!



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on February 8, 2005 9:12 AM.

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