As I sit here with my animal crackers and coffee, (Breakfast of some kind of Champions, somewhere), I am contemplating-
1. The lifestyle changes I have to make, re: the results of my recent doctor visit, revealing that I do have the Epstein-Barr virus, but it is not present in my blood enough to really say I have it. So, I am sick, but not sick enough to be called sick, but sick enough to need to take steps to get better. Better from the not-sick.
2. The lifestyle changes I wanted to make for Lent. (Lent, translates in my mind as this-"the season in which I am going to whip myself into spiritual shape, by implementing disciplines of both body and mind, of military proportions; and therefore be freed from my miserable state and go forward in glory.)" Only now I must think of everything in light of this pseudo sickness.
"But", you say, (because we are after all, regarding this as a chat, so we must keep up your end), "it all sort of lines up, doesn't it? There will be loads of discipline in doing the things that will make you better, and the time in which you will have to slow down can be spent in prayer and reading. And instead of fasting in the strict sense, you could fast from unhealthy foods (what, like animal crackers and biscotti?) to promote your healing." My goodness, you're right! What incredible wisdom and insight you have! I am so glad we had this chat!
Of course I still am planning on striving to get to either daily mass and/or adoration. I gave myself this week "off," with the exception of tomorrow, which is First Friday, and I am NOT giving up my so far unbroken string of First Fridays! (tomorrow is 7!). It is hard to break patterns and habits, so I am pretty sure God sent this little arrangement to "help" me.
Here are some of my plans for Lent. Mice and men, watch out.
1. Daily prayer, inculding my usuals; Rosary, Divine Mercy, 9 Memorares (known as the 911 for special serious intentions, of which I always have). Green scapular prayers , that I gave to all my kids and their sig. others. I want to add--the
Chaplet of Saint Michael, and the Chaplet to Saint Therese.
Hopefully, all my sitting around will help me accomplish some of this. And my parish, St. Monica's, is holding the Novena of Grace. I know, another novena may be pushing it! We'll see.
2. A few dietary and leisure sacrifices. Drinking only water, with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning and evening. No sweets. Maybe I will make something for after Sunday supper, mostly for the kids. Fruit would be okay, and in keeping with the general health thing. If you have any good meatless recipes, send one or two my way?
No facebook and very little TV.
3. Disciplines--planning and maintaining house cleaning, purging of crap,-uh, I mean extra stuff, and getting started on the repainting and floor refinishing of our first floor. I keep a fairly clean house, for all the traffic we have in here ( I spoke about that once, here ), but I am not too organized about it, and let some jobs go too long. Then, after inviting company over, I see the place with new eyes and have to go on a cleaning tear.
4. Read! This one is not a sacrifice at all, but I have a suggested list I will be working from that is mostly spiritual. If you are interested to know about which ones, I will be blogging about them as I go along.
hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew.
The list includes......brrrrbrbrrrrrrr, TSH! The Bible. As an Evangelical, I read my Bible and went to Bible Studies galore, and I am grateful for that background. But last night I had to borrow my daughters Catholic Bible to use during Lent. On the rare occasion I read from it, I just use my old NASB. And I do still kind of love it. But I want to read Tobit and the other books not in that version. We do have the online Magnificat, but I like to read from real books whenever possible. They are like old friends. Yes, all my friends are pretty old now, and we are all starting to smell like old books. Trip to Bath and Body Works, anyone?
Hopefully, this is not too much for my poor frail self to do. (for Meghann--a bit of jest. not license to refer to me as frail.:)
In closing here is a painting that inspires me for Lent:
It is The Annunciation, by Henry O. Tanner. I love how he captures Mary at a moment when she is obviously taken by surprise, her bed and floor rug rumpled, perhaps still in her night clothes. She doesn't have a fearful expression, so maybe Gabriel has already said, "do not fear." She might be just about to ask, ""How can this be?" And then say the most beautiful, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."
Besides Gabriel's presence, it is such a familiar setting, one I can relate to. (Except my hair is standing generally on end upon arising). But I can see myself sitting on my bed, talking to God, having something of the same expression. It kind of embodies how I would like to experience Lent this year.
And now, friend, thank you for sitting and chatting. In case I have hyperlinked you into a state of whiplash-like neck pain or carpal tunnel or something, I apologize. Well, look at it this way, now you have something to offer up!
whoops! okay just one more link. Today is the anniversary of Bob's audition. Happy six years of joining the circus, honey!