Thursday, February 18

Lent 2010

It was Ash Wednesday yesterday, and I didn't manage to make a single Mass. Not quite the start I would have hoped for my most favorite of Church seasons. The trouble is that it kind of snuck up on me. I didn't even realize that Lent was starting this week until this past Sunday. Kind of left me scrambling for a spiritual practice this season.

A sacrifice, the traditional option, seems a little redundant this year. If it weren't for the monthly trips into Pokot, it would be a bit difficult for me to imagine a life with fewer amenities. The electricity is spotty. The water is reliably off three days out of seven and not heated. I wash my clothes by hand. We rotate between two different breakfasts, three different lunches and two different dinners, all fairly bland. I'm almost certain my closet in Corkery was bigger than my current room.

On the other hand, it makes me appreciate the little luxuries all the more and hold all the tighter. Extra morning mandazi and crips or biscuits after trips into town are essentials. Giving any of those up would be true sacrifices. Unfortunately, I am unwilling to go so far.

So I'm left with doing something more. That's cool. It what I did last year. Regular prayer worked pretty well for those 40 days. Then it kind of fell apart. Then it picked up after I brought a prayer rug back with me from Cairo and was able to ritualize the whole process. Then it fell apart again when I moved into this new room where there literally isn't room to lay it out. So it goes.

Anyway, the plan this year is modeled on last year's, but we're trying a new ritual. The plan is to spend at least an hour a week participating in Perpetual Adoration at Christ the King Cathedral. Fifteen minutes here, a half hour there, whatever works for me that day. So far as I know there is no holy relic or sacred icon hidden in the little room in the back. It's just the Host and a few chairs facing it.

We'll see how it goes. If anything turns up, we'll let you know.

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