We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The 40-odd days following Ash Wednesday culminating in the prayer-laden and introspective Easter Vigil are the time when all Christians focus most intently on their relationship with the living Christ, and His role in their lives and in their hearts.
I usually welcome Lent with hope, and excitement about discovering where this year's Lenten journey might lead me. It is the gravitational center of my year.
Plant roots wake up and start growing months before the spring buds begin to swell. Lent is my root-growing time, and I hope it will be that this year.
Good dog! Good post.
Gloomily pondering which of my 5000 bad habits/behaviors/addictions to give up. A small one to have a hope of succeeding? Or a big one, like being mean? A bit like surveying your house to do a quick fix when you have received an embarassing invitation from a realtor to sell the family den as a teardown! Where to begin?
"Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return."
Listen BD, I think you're right. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God...
Perhaps you can read the allegory Hinds Feet on High Places. Meditate a few minutes everyday on how seemingly easy grace is to acquire and how seeking first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness is a serious mind/body/spirit discipline.
Just a thought... But whatever you choose, do it as unto the Lord.
Shrove Tuesday was never much of a celebration here among Catholics, except for pancake dinners (the tradition of eating pancakes dates from when fasting for Lent meant no meat or dairy, and pancakes were to finish off the eggs and dairy. The word carnival derives from the Latin carnem levare, removing the meat.) Alas, only the Eastern Orthodox preserve the ancient strict fast, and only Fridays during Lent are now fast days.
Over on Father Z's blog he has begun his annual Lenten Podcast. While the daily reflection is aimed at Catholics I think there is something there for every Christian to reflect on - prayer, penance, fasting, alms - all good things to improve.
He also puts one out for the season of Advent - I find them extremely helpful during that hectic season to keep me focused on the important stuff.
Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return (Gen. 3:19)
Me don't have any bad habits, so haven't any to give up for Lent.
I do like the idea of rummaging through and growin' roots.
Dust and roots, thanks BD.
O God of hosts, convert us: and show thy face, and we shall be saved.
Thou hast brought a vineyard out of Egypt: thou hast cast cut the Gentiles and planted it.
Thou wast the guide of its journey in its sight: thou plantedst the roots thereof, and it filled the land.
Psalm 79 8-10
I agree with Patina. Lent can be less about giving up, and more about doing, or both. Read the Bible more, pray more, call and/or visit an estranged friend or relative, visit the sick or home-bound, just do something charitable that you've put off doing that can become a life-long good habit. (And if this year is like all the others, my life will get in the way of my good intentions.)
They didn't say "Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." This year, the American church couldn't keep tradition. Acting like a Coke and Pepsi commercial, they changed it, for some unknown reason, and said "Repent and hear the Good News."
Not the same thing...
Sixteen years of Catholic education and I'm disgusted and frustrated with the Church trying to be popular.
God and I will meet on the stream/river at dawn rod/gun in hand. Frankly, it is a better spiritual experience than church ever was.