Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We've been waiting for Lent for a while!

Is it weird to be excited to give something up or to be extra penitential for forty days? The Man and I had to be creative this year. We don't have extra money, don't have many (any?) vices to give up (forget caffeine, I'm down to two cans a day and that's far enough), and we can't exactly give up more food or clothes. Short of switching to only store brands, we can't even give up the quality of our food. Thus, there was nothing we could think of to "give up."

We've decided, instead, to give of our time. The Man volunteers at our parish now, and sometimes he stops in to help or visit at the local Newman Center. Together, we dedicate about half an hour each night to reading something either motivational or thought-provoking about our faith. We're currently reading the Lenten prayer book provided by the church, and we're devouring James Martin, S.J.'s autobiographical In Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. Seriously devouring. His writing style is perfect to read aloud to each other, and we take turns reading part of a chapter at night. We'll probably finish Martin's book before Lent is even half over, so we made sure we have several more books to help us stick to our plan.

I wish I could volunteer at the church, too, but work gets in the way. Between teaching dancing lessons, cooking, and housework, I'm out even more time. And I refuse to give up my fifteen minutes of solitude every day ("me" time, necessary decompression), so time is indeed precious. We feel like a half hour every day is a small sacrifice, and we both feel glad and proud that we can grow together in our faith this way.

Are you celebrating Lent? If so, how are you honoring the season?


Skunk said...

Hmmm, there is a part of me deep, deep down that tells me that I should. Lemme get back to you...

cm0978 said...

I did try to give up sweets, and I actually lasted 4 days. But then I remembered Fr. Ben saying that going on a diet does not change your spiritual life. I don't know, but I bought a Starbucks mocha this morning. Felt guilty, but... So I am trying to make a more determined effort to read my prayer book twice each day and journal in the evening. I like your idea -- can I borrow the book when you are done with it?