I’m one of those people who take seriously any promises you make to God. I feel like you can do a lot of bending and fibbing of the rules in the world but when you start ebbing away at a promise to God, I believe firmly there will be repercussions. I’m not talking lightening bolts, I just think it matters.
That part in old movies, the trial part where someone would stand one hand raised and the other palm down on the bible; that seems big to me. I know millions of people make and break Lenten promises like New Year’s resolutions and believe in them like the fortunes distributed in a Chinese cookie, but this girl takes them seriously. It doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with them.
There is nothing quite like this time of the Catholic calendar. This year in particular for me a time of deep personal reflection and much needed diet wrapped into one.
I have trouble with one part of the Ash Wednesday Gospel, the part about not going around showing your “fast”. At times, I’ll admit, I’m not so gracious about my Lenten choices. I don’t break Lent; which is good for my relationship with God but maybe not for my personal relationships.
A girlfriend and I were discussing this year’s Lent, what we planned to give up, or take on (an equally valuable choice) and what things we felt the kids could do. I decided to give up all sweets and all deep fried foods (so no chips, no fries, etc). Lynn looked at me, “I may need to file a temporary separation of our friendship if you give up sweets.” She was seriously concerned about how much fun I’d be for a while.
I’m not sure Lynn (who suggested the separation) is too far off base. It took me way less time than most Lent’s for me to feel a bit deprived. As a matter of fact, it took me until about 9:30PM on Ash Wednesday to send out an email to my girlfriends stating less than Christian things about the woman on the Ghirardelli commercial. All her slow motion eating of chocolate squares with oozing caramel; let’s just say I don’t think I could be friends with her. Lynn, sent me a message back, “Don’t hate her because she’s beautiful…” To which I retorted, “I have no idea what that woman looks like, I was too fixated on her chocolate.” I’m pathetic.