Lenten update

posted by Mike on April 14th, 2011

So far, so good. Sticking with about 70% of my Lent plans, which is much better than most years.

One unexpected and helpful addition to my Lenten prayer schedule has been Susan Stabile’s series of daily meditations, with a weekly podcast of her remarks to students who are doing this “Lenten retreat in daily life” as well. Worth checking out if you need to jump-start your final week of Lenten prayers.

The best thing I’ve read about Lent this year is a brief essay by Jacob Berendes in his monthly newspaper Mothers News. It’s not at all religious, but it’s funny and a great piece of writing. In exchange for being able to quote me saying “The best thing I’ve read about Lent this year,” Jacob graciously agreed to let me reprint it, below.


March has two big “revelry before the end of the world” holidays–Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, is the day before Lent. All during Lent you don’t eat pancakes, and on Mardi Gras you eat the Holy Hell out of a serious stack of pancakes, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. In some parts of the world you also dress up like a sexy clown or insane bird on fire. In any event we are talking about buttering the bread with so much butter it’s borderline nauseating. St. Patrick’s Day is similar: it’s the day you celebrate a guy who drove the snakes (pagans) out of Ireland, and you celebrate by wearing snake colors, standing in a long line, and getting reptile-minded in a cave or cavern. Both involve putting your flag in the air, although St. Patrick’s day has more waving like “Hi, I see you, you’re wonderful”, and Marti Gras has more of a different kind of waving. REMEMBER that Marti Gras forms a holiday diad with Lent–you can’t just debauch all week and then go back to like whatever–it’s a wild life-affirming parade followed by a mild, life-affirming stretch of austerity, then springtime resurrection, THEN whatever. What will you give up for Lent this year? Netflix? Milk? Chairs? Peeing indoors? Nothing against hedonism as a method or “the eternal yes”, buy you’re not really “doing everything” if you deny yourself denial. Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Published in: Heresy, Lent | on April 14th, 2011 | Permanent Link to “Lenten update” | No Comments »

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