This morning it occurred to me that clergy really go through Holy Week twice each year. Once when they prepare it, and once when they live it. It is agony, I tell you!
And my advice is never, ever get a new computer the week before Holy Week especially if you are upgrading from a very old one to an, albeit gorgeous, one which has new programmes for you to navigate. 12 hour days become the norm and the Search facility is on overdrive as you realise those updates you did to hard-drives, USB sticks and Drop Box didn’t all quite work as your organised brain had hoped. The one service I had completed for Holy Week, rather smugly it has to be said, has gone into the ether never to return. Unless I dig out that old computer and plug it all in again.
But you know, in the grand scheme of things, it is not that bad. I just need to keep reminding myself that I’m very fortunate really. And pray for Stamina. That’s what we really need this week. Stamina to keep us going through the journey from Palm Sunday to Easter Day.
You can read a bit more over on Beauty from Chaos where I did remember my weekly blog there.
Tonight it is Mardi Gras and many pancakes will be consumed, for tomorrow we fast. (My favourite is still lemon and sugar, how about you?) Tomorrow we will be marked with an ash cross and Lent will begin.
For a few years now I have given up reading fiction in Lent and I intend to keep this again. I have a pile of non-fiction books, mainly theology but not exclusively, waiting to be read. It is too easy to forgo these for a good whodunnit, so Lent is a good time to do some real meaty study. (Hehe.)
I have put on so much weight since stopping smoking (3 months yesterday, thank you very much) that I am tempted to use Lent as a time to cut out all the baddies in my diet. But I hate that whole Theology of Weightwatchers. I’m quite sure it is not what Our Lord had in mind when he spoke about fasting. “Ruth, thou shalt cut out all those maltesers because you and I know they do not really have a less-fattening centre!” So I need to think of another way of working my way through that one.
I note that a good number of folk are giving up Facebook, Twitter and/or blogging during Lent. This is I would struggle with. But isn’t that the point, Ruth? No, I mean that I would lose so many resources that help me during Lent. So I am keeping my eyes firmly peeled on all that Google etc has to offer.
And what about taking something on? Well I will be doing some serious reading. And we shall have our Lent Group on Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm using Henri Nouwen’s book The Return of the Prodigal Son. We shall also be saying Morning Prayer together each day at 9.30am – and I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. For I HATE saying the Offices alone. Even if one person turns up my day is made. On Sundays at 7pm we shall say Compline together followed by Hot Chocolate. Hot Choc in Lent? Yes! For it is Sunday!
Then there is Lent online. You can check out the Pisky thing over at Beauty from Chaos each day. You can give up busyness for Lent over here. And I’ve read a dozen more but sadly they have all escaped my busy brain. Please comment any more if you know of them.
Oh and Fr Simon has free Lent texts as ever. Check him out too.
There is lots happening on the www for Lent. Here are some links and you can decide which, if any, you want to follow.
Beauty from Chaos has been running for a number of years now. Organised by Mother Kimberly, it used to be an SEC thing but now friends from all over are participating. I didn’t take part last year because I think I was trying to do a daily lent blog myself but it was way too hard and I felt decidedly unspiritual about it by the end. This year I may throw in a little bon mot from time to time to Beauty from Chaos.
Mother Kirstin is planting trees or something over on her blog and has some ideas for things to do. Click on her links and you’ll find even more.
Stephen Cherry, who wrote The Barefoot Disciple (Lent book from last year) has given some ideas for Lent too. Check them out.
There is something crazy going on over at Lent Madness and you might find it interesting.
Fr Simon is doing his daily text messages or tweets over at Blessed. You can join up there or ask me to pass the text messages on. I’ve always found them meaningful and challenging.
If there is anything else you know about that’s going on, please comment.
Looking for a daily Lenten discipline? Why not try Beauty from Chaos?
Contributors include Piskies from most dioceses, non-Piskies, poets, photographers, Franciscans et al. (I am adding my tuppence worth too.) It might be just what you are looking for.