Wednesday, February 25

Lent 2009

It's Ash Wednesday today, the beginning of Lent. We now have forty days of joy and repentance to prepare for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I think this may be my favorite Church season. (Not that it has much competition. I can only recall three others at the moment.) I feel as though this is a time when my Catholic faith finally begins to make demands of me and intrudes on my daily life, makes itself known. There is fasting. Stations of the Cross become a weekly event. There are a pile of Holy Days which require trips to church beside Sunday morning. Receiving the cross of ashes on your forehead today is a significant marker of faith. There is a sense of urgency about my religious practices. This is a time to really claim my faith.

For my fast this year I've opted not for self-denial but a new practice. I'm going for daily prayer. I've been interested in it for a while and have even tried to make it a habit, but those, obviously, haven't panned out well. I'm still a little fuzzy on the details, though. The general plan for now is a few minutes of prayer after waking up and a few minutes before going to bed. Maybe some stock "Our Fathers" and "Haily Marys." Maybe some original stuff in the sense that prayer is a conversation with God. I might go online and check out different methods of prayer, too. Try a different style every week. Some Taizé, maybe? We'll see. I'm excited to see how this turns out and will make every effort to record my experiences and practices here.

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