Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Did You Ever Have a Lent Like This?

By accident, a couple of weeks ago, John and I were in bed late one night and stumbled upon the movie Chocolat while flipping through the TV channels. Fortunately, it had just started, and so we thoroughly enjoyed watching it all over again.

Anyone reading this who has seen the film more than once (as I have) is astute enough to figure out that in addition to the film just generally being a delight, that this movie appeals to me on more than one level, especially in the sense that the Catholic struggle takes place in the storyline. Hilariously so; a great illustration of traditional phariseeism gone bad.

Anyway, remember the scene on the Saturday night before Easter morning? Remember what the mayor did and how he was found on Easter morning?

Yeah, that's pretty much me in the last two weeks. Most everything I vowed for Lent has broken down and went out the door. The gorging on chocolate and passing out in the patisserie window? Not so symbolic.

I believe many of us - perhaps most of us - give in, crash, lose interest, or just give up on various Lenten promises and ideals. And I sort of think that's the point - that you can't do it yourself.

The good news is that this is Holy Week, and even if I still don't keep my Lenten promises, I can take part in liturgy all week and walk with Christ. The bad news? I just want Easter to be here, so keep the chocolate (or wheat, or carbs, or fill in the blank) coming.

I'm glad that I don't know anyone foolish enough to openly proclaim that they have kept Lent perfectly, because if they did so, I think I'd want to sock them.


  1. This post makes me smile. You said it all in that one sentence - you can't do it yourself. Jesus, I trust in You. :)
    Angela M.

  2. I think a lot of Catholics have experienced suffering this Lent that they didn't sign up for. I gave in to a package of six delicious Reese's Peanut Butter eggs that an online friend sent with some "Re-elect Benedict" stickers. The first two were under the Sunday loophole, but the last four were "Who cares, I've suffered enough!"

    I'm ready for Easter!

  3. I made a conscious effort not to do anything for Lent, other than what is required. And guess what.....I succeeded!

    Now you made me want to go watch Chocolat!


  4. I have not succeeded. I have forgotten. I have pushed it aside. But the good news is, we can return. We can come back. We can try again.

  5. My plan for Lent was to try to let go of all the places I'm grasping and dissatisfied with my life and let G-d take the lead and trust that this was where I needed to be. Also, was going to work on being less critical/judgmental. Had a G-d box and everything to help.

    Three hours into Ash Wednesday...pretty much.

    *Hugs*, hon - hang in there! Keep on keeping on, and remember this Holy Week, as was noted on a church sign on Rt 27 in my home state of MD - yes, the road to Damascus - 'Nails didn't hold Jesus to the Cross. Love did.' Here's to a Holy Week and Eastertide that changes us all. xx

  6. I *almost* made it this Lent with all my Lenten promises but I found myself finding excuses to break them. Most were legit excuses, but the rest... not so much. However, I feel good about the fact that it made me realize two things: 1) *I* can't do this without God's grace. I am not in control of everything like I thought I was. 2) My family really can get out the door in time for 0730 Mass and the kids really do behave for it and we all get a good start to the day because of it.

    Another good thing that came of Lent-- it's made me realize that while I like facebook... I have a true love/hate relationship with it. I love being off of it because I can devote my time to better, more fulfilling endeavors that result in my family being happier but I hate it because I realized I do enjoy being that "nosy neighbor" and checking in on all my friends, especially my fellow milspouses. Lent forced me to only spend time on FB on Sunday's and while it felt easy at first, I slowly started to realize that I'd make those excuses. Like I said above, some were legit reasons for me to be on there, others... no.

    I do like the trend I ended up starting with my friends of asking if I could pray for others though. Never thought I'd want to do that but the more I do it, the more I enjoy praying for others. Makes me feel as if I'm able to help them.

  7. Irim wrote, 'Nails didn't hold Jesus to the Cross. Love did.' Here's to a Holy Week and Eastertide that changes us all.'

    I'll be contemplating this over the next few days - thank you.

  8. I love this film - I watched it right before Holy Week.

    As for coming through Lent successfully - always better to fail. Easter's a big let down anyway.