Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Penitence of Everyday Life or Lent, We're Living You All Year Long

Growing up in the '70s and going to Catholic school
meant being served an exorbitant portion of 
humility on a daily basis.
Then...... just as we're emerging from the dreariness
and endless dark days of winter, along comes Lent,
smack in the middle of what would be perfect, carefree Spring.
Which basically is more of the same life of
penitence.....just throw in meatless Fridays,
a heavily-imposed no -  sweets restriction 
 and cardboard mite boxes made in our 
 once a month art class
at Our Lady of Lourdes parish school.
<< Please tell me you, too, remember mite boxes.......
Otherwise, old age plus me = synonyms. sigh. >> 
And do you recall the 
unwritten 'no-parties' rule that existed throughout these
austere 4o days?

<< If your birthday's in March, as mine is, 
 you don't forget it. 😒
Unless, during rare years, your special day actually fell ON Easter Sunday!
A birthday plus the Savior's resurrection all wrapped up
in one perfect Spring Sunday!
There was actually nothing better.>>

Buuuuut, there were no complaints, mind you,
 the barren-ness and the emptiness,
the purple shrouds veiling the classroom's crucifixes,
the daily morning masses attended with our class.
There was honor and appreciation and praise
and prestige, for heaven's sake......
because what other people can boast of their Lord giving 
His life for his followers...?
Willingly being led up the hill to the cross.......
.and not just for them, 2000 years ago,
for those he knew and loved.....
but for us,  in this day and time,
  and for tomorrow and all the forever generations
to come...our children..
.....and our children's children and so on 
<< and remember we were children ourselves hearing this>>>
until He comes again.
It's how we grew up. It's how things were.
It was our culture.
Our life. 
We accepted it and we didn't question.
Why would we?
I feel like these customs must be a life particular to those of us who 
came of age'in the Brooklyn Diocese,
but I daresay no matter where you grew up,
traditions must have been much the same.

Oh, my grasp of the season has evolved, certainly.
It was admittedly, a liturgically observed weight reduction plan
( come on, you too, right?) 
leading to an admittedly indulgent peep fest 
at midnight on Holy Saturday.
And by the way, did you know that peeps
makes these now??  Where have I been??

Fast forward a couple of decades to how we Lent now and....
along with a what - am - I - depriving - myself -of 
state of mind and desperately trying to adhere to the
The Church's prescribed prayer, fasting, almsgiving tradition 
of the season, I'm presently of the mindset that
we-my family that is-
 has pretty much been living lent on a regular basis and
I'm not so sure that "giving up" is gonna happen much around here.
We're feeling like we  hold our breath getting through each day
and when days or even our hours go's a bonus.
There is serious merit and value...... isn't there though... 
to embracing the sufferings already present in our lives?
And if suffering is too strong, then at least the
hardships, the storms, the difficulties, the adversities.
Not just the day to day ups and downs,
but the intense, continuous, demoralizing periods
in our lives that don't seem to be  ending in the foreseeable future.
Those dark rough seasons of our lives.
So this LEnt, instead of giving up, I'm giving in.
Leaning in.
Letting go, bringing my troubles to the foot of the cross and
letting God.

And by the way, here are tons of thoughts, resources,
Lenten link ups, crafts, recipes and more in my Lenten archives!
If you have a little time, you might like to click over.

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  1. I must be old too, because I remember mite boxes. The good old days in Catholic school.
    I love the peeps! That's my sons favorite candy. I may need to get him one of those.

    1. I thought I replied, Monique!! SOrry about that!
      Yep, good times, reminiscing about Catholic school days, right? I only wish we could do that in person!

      My kids, too, love their peeps!!
      Thanks for the vsit my friend!

  2. This is so beautiful - leaning in, carrying your worries, fears, hopes, dreams, etc. to the foot of His Cross. Such a beautiful reflection, and knowing it is never too late to lean in to Him ... makes this a timely piece all year long!

    And, those peeps are gross - the only yummy ones? The original yellow. Haha! :-D

    1. Aw, thank you so much Anni! Your kind words are so appreciated.


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