Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lent.....and stuff

      Lent started yesterday - Ash  Wednesday. I pondered for a few days prior what to do for Lent and nothing was working for me. I signed up for a few online devotionals but they weren't speaking to me. Then two things were given to me that work - one is a fellow Catholic homeschooler that is sharing daily a virtue and Scripture to pray for our children  and then Theresa decided she would pray a decade of the Rosary daily so I joined her. Both are exactly what I needed to increase my prayer life. In recent years I've not been good about giving up something - it just didn't feel right. But this year it was made very obvious to me that I was to give up Facebook games (you know Farkle, Farmville, etc). They were just sucking me in and wasting too much precious time I could be using for something more productive.


     Some folks seem to have the meatless thing down and others seem to struggle. We are meatless on Fridays year round so it's nothing different for us during Lent other than I try to focus on the simpler meals. Yesterday we had, as per Theresa's request - my pickiest eater,

 Taco Style Lentils and Rice

3/4 C. dry lentils
3/4 C. brown rice (or white)
4 C. chicken or veg. broth
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 TBS. olive oil
You can cook this, covered on the stove for about 1 hour or throw it in the crock-pot on low for about 8 hours. You can use this in flour or corn  tortillas with regular taco toppings (cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, refried beans). Lentils have become a favorite in our house; need to find more tasty recipes.

Here is something I do not understand..... my parish offered five opportunities for Christmas Mass (a holy day of obligation) with only one of those actually being on Christmas day BUT for Ash Wednesday (not a holy day of obligation) they also offered five Masses. I'm not saying there should be less on Ash Wednesday but I really would like there to be more than one opportunity on Christmas Day. We end up not going to our own parish on Christmas because the only Mass is 10am and we prefer something earlier (like our regular 8:30am Mass time).... okay complaining over :)


Paula said...

That's interesting that your parish would offer more Masses for Ash Wednesday than Christmas--it's hard to imagine they have better attendance that day. I do remember living in a Catholic country where many people attended Mass early in the morning on Ash Wednesday. Maybe people are conscientious about it that day because they know everyone can see whether they have been or not?

Renee said...

For some reason (and I don't know if it's the reality of folks will know you've been to church) folks seem to come out in droves for Ash Wednesday. I wish they were as excited about Mass on a weekly basis. I always see attendance drop on weekends where there are no Religious Education classes (have seen this at more than my current parish).
I think it's great that our parish has so many opportunities on Ash Wed (two in the morning, lunchtime adn two in the evening)... but I wish that on Christmas we had more than one Mass on Christmas morning. We are just not Christmas eve folks - we prefer to start our Christmas celebration with Mass. Oh well, thankfully we have a number of other Catholic churches in our town that we can attend on Christmas.
I must admit I wipe off my ashes when I get home. I feel like it's a big flashing neon sign and I don't like to stand out in that manner.

Paula said...

It may be that the focus on repentance and re-commitment on that one day touches a need that many people feel, even if they give religion less thought at other times.

Our church doesn't hold special Christmas day services at all. The Sunday services preceding Christmas (or Christmas day when it happens to fall on Sunday) are of course reserved for a celebration of Christ's birth. I always like Christmas best when it fall on Sunday because we get to go to Church.

RAnn said...

We missed mass last nite. Our parish has "always" had holy day and Ash Wed. mass at 7; well, they changed it to 6 this year so we drove up as the parking lot was emptying. Drove to the next parish over, and could see the gifts on the altar, so they must have started at 6:30. 6 is just awful early if you have to get home from work and eat

As far as the Christmas mass schedule, I know our old pastor used to say "If you don't want to be squished, come Christmas morning". The Christmas Eve passes are packed, midnight is full and Christmas morning is light.

Renee said...

Our parish did have a good variety of times for Mass yesterday - 6am, 8:30am (I think this is when the parish school kids went), noon, 5:15 and 7:15pm...... I think there is hardly a person that wouldn't be able to find a time unless they worked 12 hour shifts.

We've never had trouble getting a seat at Christmas Day Mass... I think it was in GA one year there there were the 5 of us plus maybe another dozen folks. I just wish the Mass time were 9am instead of so late in the morning.... we are 'mean' parents - presents do not get opened until after Mass

Renee said...

I think you are right Paula about the focus on repentance and re-commitment