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06 February 2008

Ash Wednesday

It's 11:30 and I am starving. I attended mass this morning, and, since it is a fast day, I have nothing to eat except a Diet Coke (which, because it has no calories, does not count as food). All the candy and chocolate that I keep in the office for the kiddies is KILLING me! When I get home, I'll get to "gorge" myself on some pasta. No meat, but maybe some cheese. Maybe I'll have some fruit as well. The Boy made me some amazing lunches this week, but I cannot eat them today and Friday since Friday's are abstinence days and today is a fast and abstinence day.
After mass, I went to confession. Appropriate. It is Lent, the season on repentance and penance to prepare for Easter, and reconciliation is especially important now. It was my first confession. I sat face-to-face with Fr. Fidel (you have the option of anonymous or face-to-face confessions now) and tried to sum up the last 28 years. It pretty much boiled down to two or three major vices that seem to repeat themselves over and over again. I served my penance and my sins were absolved. It felt good but odd. I'll most likely go back fairly often (every quarter or so so I have a nice stockpile of sins to report), but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Of course, I avoided many real specifics (partly because I can't remember!), but my general vices were highlighted.

After confession, I went to the office with the ashes on my forehead. Every student who came in the office mentioned that I had something on my head. To most I simply responded, " It is Ash Wednesday," and that was the end of the conversation. A few were like, "Huh?" Only one asked me what I gave up for Lent. I told him, "Chocolate, candy, and ice cream." He informed me that he gave up junk food and drinking (as in booze). I laughed.

The Boy and I were discussing Lent last night, and we decided that, rather than only focusing on the fasting part of Lent, we wanted to participate in the alms giving portion as well. He is going to volunteer walking pets at the local SPCA. I was rather impressed. I had already contacted the local Catholic school to volunteer my services as a tutor. Plus I will be volunteering with the youth group soon. I've also decided to amp up my donation to the collection plate. I figure that I can afford to give more and go without new shoes or new clothes or a night out. Plus I know that the money I give to the Church will go to some wonderful causes. I think I may also participate in Operation Rice Bowl (a program through the Church in which you donate the money saved as a result of your fasting and Lenten pledges).

I'm happy about all of this. I look forward to moving through the season of Lent and eagerly anticipate Easter. I really think that these sacrifices (which are HUGE for me if you know me at all) will prepare me for the Eucharist in March.

By the way, never in a million years did I ever think that a blog like this would come out of me.
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