Friday, February 17, 2012

7QT--run up to Lent edition

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We've been gluttonizing ourselves on half-price Valentine chocolate these past days as a preparation (?) for the season of Lent. I know that doesn't sound very spiritual, but for me, at least, it kind of works. I'm already sick of the stuff after two days of easy access to truffles and Dove strawberry/chocolate swirl hearts.   Our plans for going meatless Monday thru Friday and ditching the goodies sounds mighty attractive at the moment. I'm even toying with a new idea that a friend mentioned. She said that last year her only penance was to drink her coffee without any creamer or sugar, and she ended up losing 3 pounds. Of course, you have to have witnessed the small mountain of creamer and the heaping teaspoon of sugar that Susie puts in her coffee the rest of the year. Anyway, I'm thinking of doing away with the sugar, but keeping a splash of milk.
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My son just reminded me of our former pastor's advice that we should NOT be planning and carrying out our lenten penances with the goal  of  worldly self-improvement (e.g.. weight loss, being more organized, physical health.) The point of this is penance for our sins, and creating empty places in our hearts/souls/schedules that are to be filled by God. Period. ...Yes, Father.
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Today's Office of Readings brings us yet another piece of excellent commentary by St. Augustine. Check this out: The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied. Augustine then goes on to compare us to wineskins which need to be stretched when there is more good wine available than the skin can hold in its current state. (Ouch!)  Sanctification can hurt. He then switches container metaphors and says that if you need a place to store honey, and all you have is a jar of sour wine, the wine should be dumped and the container scoured til clean. (Hey! My stuff! You're throwing it out! And ouch again!)  So, just to be clear on what lent is supposed to feel like: Stretched. Scoured. Old stuff dumped out.
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Good news here at home: my kid  who has  autism was able to sit through Sunday  mass without any behaviors for the first time in several years. We might be able to start taking him again on a regular basis again instead of splitting up the family to attend separate masses while some stayed home with him. Praise God!
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Bad news on home front: same kid also had some scary  "issues" last night, so please, anyone who reads this, say one Hail Mary that God will send us healing and a solution to this particular problem. Thanks.
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I read a book this week that I wish were around when I was single. Emily Stimpson's Catholic Girl's Survival Guide  manages to be brutally honest, faithfully Catholic, and tons of fun at the same time. There's an e-book edition as well.  If you know any single girls who are feeling down and desperate, this is just the thing.
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