Saturday, 2 February 2008

Lenten Meme

I encountered this meme at tigerish waters, tagging everyone who reads it. I do not think I will come up to the level of thoughtfulness in her response, but here goes.

1. What's been you best Lenten-effort-idea ever?
Having Sunday as a day during the week when I do not switch on my radio, not even for news bulletins. As I live on my own, and do not have a TV, my radio is usually my company. This is particularly true on a day like Sunday, when I tend to be at home more than on other days. What really took me by surprise the first time I did this was how much a sustained time of physical quiet (not silence, busy road outside!) even in a normally busy place helped to create an internal "stillness". The sense of "stillness" grew as Lent progressed, and I also realised it was helping with my prayerfulness at Mass.

2. And your worst.
Trying to give up my "morning break" Mars bar. I really could not cope without the blood sugar boost!

3. What good Lenten advice would you share?
[I haven't tried this out, so I don't really know whether or not it works!] At one point during a stay at a monastery, I was very struck by the antiphon for the Nunc Dimittis, and the concluding prayer of Compline. They were really saying that, as we go to sleep at night, our life-while-asleep represents Christ's dying and resting in the tomb, and that when we wake up again in the morning our life-as-we-wake represents Christ's rising from the dead. The concluding prayers for Evening Prayer I and II of Sundays express this particularly well. So my advice would be to write the antiphon "Save us Lord, while we are awake ..." and one of the concluding prayers onto a post card to keep by the bed. It can then be read just before you go to bed, and would take less than a minute. Better still, learn the antiphon and prayer off by heart so that you can say them each night as you are getting ready for bed. A simple way of living daily an experience of "dying with Christ". In Eastertide, it can be replaced by "The Lord is truly risen, Allelulia", said in the morning as you get out of bed.

4.And what will feature this year?
"No radio Sundays" for a certainty, possibly extended to one other day in the week. I shall have to try out no.3 above as well (this meme certainly knows how to get us to commit ourselves without realising it..). And taking up "tigerish waters" observations about food, it might be the final good-bye to bacon and egg breakfasts. I have already cut back on these - high cholesterol - but Lent is probably a time to finish forever. Pope Benedict XVI has also emphasised alms giving ...




PS: I can see a follow up meme coming our way around Holy Saturday.


4 comments:

la mamma said...

Hello. Rita's just nudged me in your direction. Welcome to the Catholic blogosphere. Thanks for doing the meme. I think that a large part of the raison d'etre for those of us blogging on the 'sphere is to provide solidarity. With this meme, I intended to offer others the opportunity to share the fact that Lent's not all about giving up chocolate. It's such a private thing in many ways (shutting the door, left hand not knowing what right is doing, etc) that we never know how other people live Lent. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a joyful season...

Joe said...

Thank you for your comment. One of the unexpected parts of my experience of one week of blogging is precisely the solidarity that you refer to. I thought your meme captured this very well, and in a very practical way. We will have to do a "how did you get on" meme at the end of Lent.

AutumnRose said...

Nice to meet you Joe! I in turn was nudged here by la mamma! You can read my meme here:
http://iamhisbeloved.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/lenten-meme/

I enjoyed reading yours :¬)

Joe said...

I wonder whether we could collate the responses to this meme and give our parish priests a "free homily" for the first Sunday of Lent? They seem to me to provide a rich and very practical catechesis ...