Yesterday, as we discussed what could and could not be eaten on Ash Wednesday (a favorite topic of DJ’s), DJ observed that I had not actually been bound by any Lenten fasting or abstinence rules for the past six years!?!
After thinking more carefully, I also realized that for one reason or another, I haven’t attended Holy Thursday Mass or Good Friday services for that same amount of time. What with one nursing baby or another*, I haven’t “done Lent” so to speak since before Jude’s birth in April 2008.
This year, I have no excuse, so I needed to do some serious thinking about what I’m going to do to make this season count. I liked Ellen’s Lenten round up from yesterday. It gave me a lot to think on, especially the part about just doing my duty in my house (so many blogs, so little time so dishes and laundry get kinda’ lost).
But then I think about this post from awesome nunblogger (that’s one word) Sr. Martha Mary who writes:
It would be great if you would stop biting your nails, but it’s not going to cut it for Lent. You’re not going to give up physical things for physical self help. You’re going to give up physical things for spiritual self improvement.
This makes me stop and think: I should be doing better in my house work stuff anyway. This isn’t something I should do for Lent, it’s something I should do all the time. Lent is a good time to get started, but doing my best by my house isn’t atonement for my sins: it’s my ding dang job.
I want to do something that will be a sacrifice that I can pick up again on Easter Sunday because it’s a joy. The feeling I get from doing it is something happy and not doing it during Lent will remind me about Christ and His sacrifice and being able to do it again on Easter Sunday will remind me that He is Risen!
So, I’m not going to spend money. Well, I am, but not on myself at all. That means I’ll go through the drive through at Dunkin Donuts for the kids, but not for me. I’ll do grocery shopping and pick up DJ’s bacon cheddar pretzels but I won’t buy my special treat (Ovaltine, for those of you wondering). I’m also going to refrain from watching my favorite British TV shows. Avoiding these things won’t put me in a bad mood (like abstaining from coffee certainly would) but they are things I now enjoy daily and giving them up will be a true sacrifice for me.
So, that’s Claire on Lent. Remember that my degree is in sociology and I lick my kid’s pacifiers when they fall on the floor so don’t take me as a spiritual authority or anything like that.
*You people do what you want, but in the Hazzard House Lenten rules on food don’t apply if you’re growing or nursing a Catholic.