Ukraine etc. again
Katy Carl: As Earth Without Water

Here It Is Lent Again

Perhaps you'd find this prayer from the Ordinariate's St. Gregory's Prayer Book useful:

Lord, bless us this Lent — let us fast most truly and profitably—by feeding in prayer on thy Spirit — Reveal me to myself in the light of thy holiness — let me not think I have knowledge enough to need no teaching —

    Wisdom enough to need no correction—
    Talents enough to need no grace—
    Goodness enough to need no progress—
    Humility enough to need no repentance—
    Devotion enough to need no quickening—
    Strength sufficient without thy Spirit—
    Lest standing still I fall back for evermore—

May my whole effort be to return to thee — make it serious and sincere — persevering and fruitful in result — by the help of thy Holy Spirit — and to thy glory, my Lord and my God. Amen

The odd punctuation is copied from the book. I don't know the reason for it.


Note: I did not hear "Ashes" yesterday. So I guess I'll need to do some extra little penance to make up for that.


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Is there sand in your holy water font?

No. Is that a custom?


I did get to hear "Ashes" yesterday morning, Mac. Don't you hate that every time I hear "Ashes" or "Imagine" I think of you?

That said, our morning service here in Rock Springs yesterday was a very inspirational way to begin Lent. I am very thankful for the guidance God provides for us through our priest.

No, I don't hate it. For one thing it's funny, and for another thing it propagates the hostility I feel for both of those songs. :-)

Our priest, who is like 30 years old, pointed out that what we do with ashes at that Mass directly contradicts the gospel for it. I think there was a lot of "hmmm..." in the pews.

I also got to hear "Ashes." I think this means Stu and I get to eat meat on Friday.

As a child, I wondered about the contradiction with the gospel and someone offered this explanation: Jesus was talking to people in a society that respected and honored penitence, so making it visible was a way of bragging. But our society scorns penitence, so making it visible adds to the penance.

I support you and Stu in that.

Our priest said it had puzzled him when he was growing up, but I don't seriously see it as a contradiction. Now, if we were to go around for the whole forty days with ashes, and be very ostentatious about letting everybody know exactly what we're sacrificing (like me talking about how I'm giving up my nightly beer which I love as much as food), how much extra praying we're doing, and so forth, it would be a contradiction. But the Ash Wednesday service is the members of the community making a public and communal acknowledgement of the need for penance and intention to do it. After one event we retire to our own homes and daily rounds and don't make any show (or at least we're not supposed to).

Wait. You mean I have to take down the sign I put up in my yard that lists the penances I'm doing for Lent?

I don't know, maybe we need some pithy virtue-signaling yard signs for Catholics in Lent. "In this house we believe: Friday fish fries are cheating..." and so on.

"And that Sundays do count...."

When it comes to ostentatious fasting and penance, I prefer the custom of most of the rest of the world, in which ashes are sprinkled over the top of one's head.

Much more biblical, but it's ok with me not to have to wash the ashes out of my hair.

Robert, right, just that sort of thing. Although personally I take that questionable exemption. Keeps me from getting too impatient and slacking up the rest of the week.

"I also got to hear "Ashes." I think this means Stu and I get to eat meat on Friday."

This made me laugh! Apparently my parish is still not doing Friday night fish fries because of Covid (insert grumpy noise here), so that's not even an option. Too embarrassed to mention it in the bulletin, we had to ask the Knights of Columbus guys about it...sigh.

My parish is going strong with it. I’m sure I will enjoy at least one during Lent. I don’t really think it’s cheating exactly, by the way. But a bit on the wrong side of letter vs spirit.

Our parish's fish fries are school fundraisers, so even if they are cheating on abstinence, they count as almsgiving ;-)

I guess I could say that for ours, too, though we don't have a school. I assume no one is making away with the money for his personal use. I am confident that neither of our priests is secretly spending a fortune on drugs and expensive vacations. :-o

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