Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Seth, Who Throughout These Forty Days

Ash Wednesday is upon us; my forehead is still smudged from Mass this morning; my stomach hasn't rumbled recently. These are all good things.

I am excited for Lent--which I suppose sounds nerdy or too Jesusy for some--but I sure could use this period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to refocus not just my spiritual life but everything that I do.

Catholics (and sometimes other Christians) usually ask one another,"What are you giving up for Lent?" I'm not sure why we're so interesting in what each other is abstaining from. But since you're curious, this is what I'm doing for Lent:
  • Adding Night Prayer to regular routine of Morning and Evening Prayer
  • Fasting and abstaining on Fridays
  • Fasting throughout Holy Week
  • Reading one book per week of a spiritual topic
To aid in these practices, I've got to do a few less spiritually-oriented things, most notedly restricting TV viewing to no more than five hours per week.

I'm not telling you all this to toot my own horn or contradict Jesus' words in today's Gospel ("Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them...") but to give examples of how one specific Christian goes about rending his heart.

Trust me, there's nothing haughty about admitting one's own sinfulness and attempting reparation.