I don't know much about Catholicism... nothing really, but I do live in a predominantly Catholic state and appreciate much of the traditions as far as one can witness them from the street.
Like the St. Joseph's Altars... so special. And Easter. and of course, Christmas although neither of those are celebrated exclusively by Catholics. In point of fact, they are welcoming to everyone who wishes to partake in all of these celebrations.
Mardi Gras has come and gone and yesterday was Ash Wednesday. As I was driving my errands, I heard someone report that there are now drive-thru stations for Christians who wish to receive the ashes but don't have the time to walk into the church.
At first, I thought "sign o' the times!" and then I reflected how sad that is...... so busy in life that a solemn moment can't manage to fit within. "I'll just drive-by and grab a sandwich, drop off a deposit and get my forehead marked." (Sloth)
And then this made me think about the Lenten season..... the giving up of something one likes or does or whatever for 40 days. I have never done that. Well, except for smoking. I've given that up ALOT over the years and have been smoke-free for many years. So that's a good thing. (Uh-uh-uh! That's Pride, right there on display!)
The idea of self-denial is tough.... "what have I done wrong that I go and punish MYSELF!" (Pride)
In this case, nothing (I hope). But then, that would be to think of it as more as an affront or even a 'challenge', so trendy these days. CHALLENGE! I think Life itself is much of a challenge.... why am I off in search of yet another? (Pride, again)
Then, I said to myself.... "well, Self, you could 'give up' wine in the evening (or whenever the urge strikes and lately it's been striking often!). Ok,,,, 40 days without wine. OR any alcohol." If you're giving up a vice, go all the way. (Greed)
But what about that other vice o' mine: sweets. that tooth is rather long. I don't usually go after King Cake during the Mardi Gras season but this year, this year......
..... I bought 3. And I BAKED 2 more. I ate most of this, by myself. (Gluttony).....(So much Gluttony)
So, on a tele-chat yesterday morning with my aunt, I presented this dilemma (what a dilemma! right?) to her. Do I give up alcohol or sweets?
And do you know what the devil replied in return? "Why not both?"
The only response I could come up with was to stare at her. I just went from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye. (WRATH!!)
Yesterday was Day One. And I had no trouble whatsoever. Not even when the kind waitress gave me an Andes after lunch. I slid it back across the table and said, "Lent." It's code around these parts.
And no wine, not even a good-bye drop.
I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow: Fish Friday. Bring on the catfish. (and we're back to Gluttony)
This morning, awaken fresh and lighter, I breezed through the Facebook feed and saw something fabulous.
During the 40 days of Lent, I should go through my closet and remove an article of clothing (in good condition) that can and will be donated to a shelter. BRILLIANT.
And so, this morning, 2 articles will be placed in the box. Baby step, my friends. Baby steps. I wonder if my man will do this, too?