So, we’ve made it to the first Sunday of Lent. How is everyone doing? And while we are at it, do you feast on Sundays or continue the fast?
Last year I read this article by Rebecca Teti over at Faith and Family Live, the gist of which (haha, I used gist in a sentence about F&FL) about reigniting the argument as to whether Sundays are “days of Lent” and if you are obligated to fast on those days. She links to an article by Catholic-convert and apologist Jimmy Akin that says, well, they are days of Lent and you are supposed to fast. But, she goes on to mention that Lenten penance is voluntary so no need to give up feasting on Sundays. If you read through the comments, there is a wide, but respectable variety of disagreement on this topic. While I do subscribe to the “feast on Sunday” approach, I am not going to log on to facebook and spend all day there. Today I logged in for a second on the iPad to get that pesky notification to go away and read one message that turned out to be pretty important, but I may not even go there again the rest of Lent. One reason that I find compelling is mentioned in the comments of Rebecca’s article, that it is often more difficult to give up six days and get one off than 40+ straight days. As someone mentioned there, after a prolonged fast, it is often no longer a challenge to give up what you have chose. For me, personally, when it gets easy, it feels like cheating. I don’t give up the fast, but I add something else to fast to. Not that fasting has to be the most grueling thing in the world, but easy, to me, means it is no longer a sacrifice. If I find that facebook no longer feels so important, twitter or something else will go. Equally compelling is the explanation I found here. I think they truly worded it best:
Q. Are Sundays part of Lent? If so, are Catholics required to continue acts of penance on the Sundays during Lent?
A. Sundays most definitely are a part of Lent as they are listed the first through fifth Sundays of Lent, and not of something else. The Sundays do, however, take on a different character than other days because Sunday is always a celebration of the Resurrection. There is no rule on whether Lenten practices continue on Sundays since such practices are voluntary anyway. Without a doubt we should maintain our preparation for the Triduum on Sundays, whether or not that includes acts of penance.
So, I say feast, whether I choose to always do it or not.
Moving on…in my quest to read an hour of the Bible daily, I have kept up although I did miss my hour yesterday, I read two hours today. I am now to Exodus and the second plague (it’s the frogs in case you’ve forgotten). I’ve also done well with the Divine Office, the Rosary and the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and the Angelus. I feel like I spend more of my day praying than anything else, but I can’t see how that could possibly be bad. As always, my kids are a challenge, particularly with the Rosary because of length. I have a friend who calls the Rosary a “kid magnet” because as soon as she picks hers up to pray, she is bombarded with “Mommy, I need!” Father Morneau’s Lenten Reflections in Ashes to Easter continue to inspire and challenge me. I am so blessed to have this as part of my Lenten prayer regimen.
Mass this morning was wonderful. Only Joey and I were able to attend because Will’s eyes are still not great and although we are fairly sure it is NOT conjunctivitis, I am taking him to the doctor tomorrow to get it looked at because Joey had a similar incident a few years ago that was actually an ear infection. And he’s been like this off and on (but mostly on) since Wednesday. I’m tired of not being able to go places because my kid looks infectious! So, Jeff stayed home with him and Shelby (I can’t go to mass with Shelby alone, at least not yet) while Joey and I made our way into town.
And as part of our Lenten planning is our celebrations of St Patrick’s Day and St Joseph’s Day. They are both Joey’s patron saints and therefore, both celebrated in our home. And would be anyway for Jeff’s Scotch-Irish heritage and my Italian heritage. Today Jeff made Pane di San Giuseppe (St Joseph’s Day Bread), we plan on making it a few times before the big day. We’ve planned our menu out for both days and hopefully will attend daily mass for both of them as well. It is such a fun month to be Catholic in March!
I hope each of you is doing well on your Lenten journey. May God continue to Bless You!