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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ash Wednesday

I just got back from mass, rather hungry (it's a fast day) and appropriately be-ashed. The ashes themselves I can take or leave--there's something rather ostentatious about wandering around with this mark on one's forehead, as if to say, "hey! I went to church! and what have YOU been doing, sinner?"--but I have to admit that I really dig on Lent.

Lent is, in fact, my favorite part of the liturgical year, and the part that most appealed to me when I started gradually gravitating back to the church a number of years ago. I suspect that this is because, growing up, the version of Christianity that I saw in my hometown and my high school was so smug and self-satisfied and suburban and Jesus-loves-you, full of bland music and back-lit paintings and group hugs. Lent, then, to me, represents the more serious and introspective side of the faith. It's a time in which to take stock of oneself and and think about the places where changes need to be made.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do over the next six weeks, although I'm thinking about trying to finally get through the Life of Teresa of Avila, which I began a long time ago and never finished. And I'll go to the usual services and avoid meat on Fridays and all that good stuff. But I also want to really create some space in which to think, and I'd like to come out the other side having figured out ways to be more involved in the causes and charities that I believe in. Giving money is all well and good, and I do give modest sums to a variety of organizations--but I want to start devoting some volunteer time as well.

(Oh, and if I needed any further proof that I've escaped those churches of my youth? Last Sunday, the priest who delivered the homily quoted from--and explicated--T.S. Eliot's "Ash Wednesday." Word up, Fr. Dominic!)

link | posted by La Lecturess at 1:49 PM |


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