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A Holy Lent

February 24, 2009

Chers Amis,

Today is Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, or Ash Wednesday Eve – the cusp of the Lenten season, quoi. Somber, reflective purple will prevail tomorrow and onward for 40 days. I keep asking myself how I am going to keep it holy and make it meaningful this year. C’est toujour comme ca pour moi. Last minute et ca me gene enormement! – It bugs me. It is a common theme. Every Thursday evening my husband asks me what the weekend holds. Every Thursday I give him the same blank look and say, “I haven’t thought about it.” He shakes his head. He and I are very different on this. I rarely have any plans beyond meals, cleaning, mass, and whatever he has on his agenda. I am not a good planner. I am too caught up in the Ground Hog Day details of life to have great plans and I take a long time to plan when I do. He is quick-thinking and decisive. I brood, reconfigure and am usually interrupted 5 times before a coherent idea materializes – not usually in a ‘shovel ready’ form.

So here I am waiting for the crepe batter for tonight’s supper to finish chilling, still looking for direction alternating between typing and cutting up mushrooms and chicken. Do I give something up? Do I do a specific act of love? What is my goal? I have terrific will power so not eating, drinking a specific something etc. is easy. I typically give up all snacking outside of meals (including tasting while cooking), all desserts, all chips and crunchables. Does it help? Yes, because it is like being in a food desert, but it isn’t enough. My problems, like most peoples’, are of the heart. I can be very negative, very cup barely half-fullish, very perfectionist. Today was a day like that. Not sleeping enough last night didn’t help. Getting up early for your morning meditation can be counter-productive sometimes, Marjorie. By mid-afternoon, I crashed, deflated mentally and physically. I had to lie down (which is unheard of for me). Burned out. Totally. I am not sure that giving up and deprivation is what God wants of me this year. I am good at wearing ashes, self-flagellation, and mental sack cloth. BTDT. My spiritual director suggested a ‘being’ sacrifice instead of a ‘not doing’ sacrifice. Be positive. Be Tigger, not Eeyore. Be optimistic. Speak only encouragement. Wear bright colors. I need a vibrant violet Lent, a focused on Easter Lent, a Walking-WITH-Christ Lent. So that’s my plan, I’m stickin’ to it. How about you? J

–Marjorie

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