Week One

While Sunday marked the First Sunday of Lent, today marks the eighth day of Lent. And how are we doing?

Well, I am still suffering giving up of secular music. I am attempting to find other releases, but it is difficult. Yesterday I tweeted that I wondered if I could trade giving up complaining for my music. I think that means I picked the right thing. After all, it should be a real sacrifice, something difficult to give up.

As usual, there is a debate raging in the Catholic interwebs about Lent and Sundays. Some people are calling other people sissys if they “take Sundays off.” Others state it “must be a regional thing” because they are just hearing about it now, while still a third group say defend the practice vigorously.

The short answer is, whatever you are doing, keep doing it. All Sundays are feast days. If you choose to feast, fine. If you continue to fast from whatever you have given up, fine. I remember reading a column with a priest when I was growing up  who had given up television for Lent. He broke the fast on Sundays by allowing himself to only watch videos. This was in the days of VHS tapes and VCRs and he did not tape tv shows to watch on Sunday, but chose one or two movies to watch. That example was a good one as I agree, people who gorge on Sundays might be slightly missing the point. I think it’s okay to feast, but don’t be gluttonous about it.

One interesting argument I heard last year about feasting on Sunday is that over the course of Lent, as the weeks spread out, the initial thing one gave up, may sometimes no longer feel like a sacrifice by week 4 or 5. And what to do then if that is the case? Choose another “fast” in addition to the first one? Just keep going? The person making this sacrifice stated that by allowing herself to feast on Sundays, it made the sacrifice feel like more of a loss throughout Lent. And I could understand that. However, I chose not to feast this past Sunday. Or, rather, I made the liturgical music of mass my feast. That being said, it won’t be that way every week. Because my tenth wedding anniversary is coming up soon and I have a music-related gift I am giving Jeff.

I am reading Father Robert Morneau’s Ashes to Easter as I have many Lents past and it continues to give me new insights. And I love that now that I actively pray the Divine Office, I see his “refrains” are antiphons from Morning Prayer. And there is a beauty and symmetry there this year that was never there before. I am praying the Rosary with the help of the iRosary app which includes artwork that focuses me on the mysteries more. I am continuing with my study group of One Thousand Gifts and seeing the variety of ways “Eucharisteo” informs my faith, particularly in Lent.

Lent is a continuing journey and I am learning so much about myself spiritually and my faith. And isn’t that what is supposed to happen in this year of faith that started on my 33rd birthday?