Thursday, February 07, 2008

February - the month of the Holy Family - and the beginning of Lent

So, lent has begun again. I'm sure I'm not alone in being challenged by this season of the Church's year. Yesterday we changed to a different volume of the breviary, nice and red.

Part of the struggle at the beginning of lent, I find, is trying to find something to give up. Nothing too onerous, nothing to demanding (the devil rejoices, I was once told in confession, over the sinner who tries more than he should and falls, than over the sinner who tries what is managable and falls, becuase the latter will not get so discouraged). I have friends who are somewhat scrupulous about what to give up, it must be something completely free, without any other motivation. I disagree, I think that so long as there is some spiritual motivation, and we try to bring this motivation to the fore then there is no problem. I'll offer an example, giving up sweets, some might be scrupulous that their motivation is weight-loss, perhaps it is, but they have decided to try during the season of lent, a season of spiritual mercy, so try to cultivate the spiritual motivation of mortification and penance.

So, good luck everyone, as we enter into the desert with Christ. Try not to forget two elements of the season, joy and perseverance!!!


Mac McLernon said...

Good luck with whatever penances you have taken on!

ﮒﻇﺵ said...

Your desert seems to have plenty of oases ...

marcella said...

Hello Orthfull,
I don't have a problem with giving up sweets etc. I do it every year and freely admit that weight loss is a factor in my motivation. But we ARE supposed to abstain, aren't we?
My other Lenten resolution is to give up speaking ill of people I dislike. This is much more difficult, but the 'easier' resolution will help me to remember the more difficult one.

Hermit in the World said...

Hi Marcella,

its great to give something up for lent, giving up cakes and sweets etc is good, so long as there is a spiritual motivation, not just a physical one.

Giving up speaking ill of others is a great lenten practise! I really congratulate you for trying!!! Good luck!

marcella said...

Hi Hermit,
Do you know what, I have actually surprised myself! Once I decided to do it (by which I mean to not do it) and treated THAT resolution in exactly the same way as the resolution not to eat chocolate, I found that it was no more difficult after all than the not eating chocolate! Which just goes to show, IMHO, that sometimes bitching is just a habit, and a habit that can be broken more easily than some others like fags for instance.
Of course there's always the days off for Solemnities and Sundays and as I live in North Wales for St. David's day...
tee hee

James M said...

Excellent blog. Excuse my ignorance, but I've scrolled through a few of your posts, old and new, and am trying to work out which seminary(/ies) you are at.

As for Lent, I'm 11 days without smokes...a choice loaded with ulterior motives...but God is a merciful God.

marcella said...

Yes, I'd like to know where you are too. I have a seminarian friend just finishing from Wonersh, and I know a soon-to-be-priest at Oscott too, plus a good friend of mine is ex-Oscotian (now a priest).

Hermit in the World said...

Good on your Marcella! Stay with it, it is a mortification loaded with graces!

and good luck James M, I gave up cigs as well, but I've fallen a couple of times, as you say, god is merciful, He hasn't struck me down yet!