Tuesday, February 08, 2005
A More Sensible LentI've been giving a little thought to the blog direction for Lent. In the past, I've taken breaks from the net during the Forty Days, only to return at Easter. Last year was the first time I didn't do that. If Neil or Liam or perhaps one or two others are willing, I will continue to post from guest bloggers. I'm pondering a daily feature, "Snacking on the Word," inspired by a Benedictine friend at Conception Abbey, here. I'm thinking of featuring a monastery or other place of prayer every few days or so. There are numerous resources on the internet for your own Lenten journey, if the net is one of your preferences for finding such things. The Bible, and especially the Psalter, are my preferred sustenance, and I don't need the computer for them. I take seriously the thought of a priest friend of my wife's: consider giving up something for Lent that you would give up for good. Ideally when on a journey, a pilgrimage, if you will, a person would set aside something burdensome. When you give something away or leave it at the roadside, it would defeat the purpose of the pilgrimage to backtrack to retrieve what was left behind. When I'm on a trip, I don't need to break all speed limits to arrive at my destination yesterday with an over-stretched bladder and a car running on fumes. But I don't like getting halfway to the next state and feel the urge to turn around because maybe I didn't shut the front door hard enough. In the same way, I wonder if one of the things I fast from this year shouldn't be left behind for good. Sweets, alcohol, milk, computers, games, sleeping in, staying up late, food between meals, and several others things have been past sacrifices, as they have been for you I'm sure. Every so often, maybe once in a few years, I actually maintain some fast or some added discipline well past Easter until it has become a new habit. So if your Lenten practice is to give up computers and the internet for Lent, I wish you a good and holy season until you return. If your practice is to give up something else, maybe I'll see you on the road.