Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lent is Here People: Start Suffering!

(I'm semi-recycling a post here. I thought it generally got my point across last year. One more time on this one, if you don't mind.)

If suffering is the objective, we've certainly got that covered with these Lenten staples:

Oh well. So be it. I love Lent, actually. Guilt, suffering, and penance are wonderful filters for a dusty soul. Talk about the ultimate in spiritual spring cleaning! When Easter arrives, you just kinda feel scrubbed and spit-shined. On the inside. Deprivation also gives scale to the bounty and abundance in our jam packed lives. When you're doin' without, you just appreciate things more. Even manufactured fish rectangles. Yum yum.

And by the way, Sister Mary Martha, always true to form, summarily put the smack down on a reader last year for querying if abstinence from sugar, fat, and salt qualifies as high-end Lenten deprivation. On the face of it, Sister explained, the gentle reader's suggestion ranks right up there in the domain of self-induced miseries. As long as there is no personal gain from the offering. In other words, if she's doing without those yummy additives for Lent AND for the purpose of looking especially hot in her slammin' size 4 jeans, it's a no go. Your Lenten sacrifice has to be free of material side benefits and kick backs. Even if you're from Illinois.

So start figuring out which form of deprivation makes you the most miserable, and come tomorrow, start suffering. And for the love of Pete...don't look for Lenten loopholes in order to take a break from your wretched 40 days. Buck up and deal. You'll live.