Let’s Talk Lent

I’ve been enjoying talking to people and reading about how they’re choosing to approach Lent this year, so I offer this post as a matter of interest, and not a humblebrag. What are you doing? How are you approaching it? How is this year different from past years?

This is what I’m thinking for this year, which departs significantly from my hazy but noble goal last Lent of no yelling:

A study: Blessed Is She’s Put On LoveReading and discussing with friends one evening a week.

A prayer practice: Kneeling for prayer at bedtime. I usually lie on my side reading my St. Benedict’s Prayer Book very last thing, falling asleep as I go. I can do better, and give God more than just the very dregs of alertness.

A discipline: I’m going to try veiling at Mass. I am…not excited. But I have friends who I love and admire who do it, and I’ve been receiving on the tongue since Scout was born, and if we’re going to buy into all this Eucharist stuff, we might as well err on the side of caution, treating it just as reverently as possible. Like Flannery O said, “If it’s just a symbol, to hell with it.”

I’ve also set myself the tentative deadline of Ash Wednesday to finish reading A Mother’s Rule of Life and start trying to implement some of its suggestions. So, yay. I guess it’s kind of a lot, but at least there’s still chocolate.

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Author: Katherine Grimm Bowers

Babies. Books. Fledgling housewifery. Once and future librarian. Catholic. Always thinking about chocolate ice cream.

10 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Lent”

  1. Hahaha! I’d never heard that Flannery quote before. I don’t veil, but I admire those who do. I look forward to hearing how it goes for you. And I’m trying the nebulous goal of “not yelling.” We’ll see how that goes. 🙂

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  2. I’m no longer Catholic, but I’ve still been cautious with how I approach lent. I guess Catholic school really rubbed off. This year I’m focusing on being more involved with my kids and spending less time on the tech. I was already on that road, but this is the next logical step.

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  3. Let us know if you have any tricks on the veil with toddlers–I tried for a bit and my daughter thought it was just a bit too cool to remain on my head. Heh.

    I ❤ when people share their lenten practices; it is such a beautiful (and for me, necessary) season. I am doing the heroic minute of getting up immediately when my alarm goes off at 5 instead of snoozing and using the new found time with Put On Love and a little bit of my lunch break for He Leadeth Me. We give up kneelers at mass and sugar at home. We are planning a Sole Hope party for almsgiving near the end of lent.

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  4. Sugar is SO HARD. I feel like I’ll probably have to try this one eventually, if not for Lent than for all my teeth not falling out by 40, but I’m going to need a Lent where I’m not nursing or pregnant to even contemplate it!

    Scout (20 months) has been pretty OK with the veil the two times I’ve worn it. I’ve been doing just a lacy infinity scarf looped over my head like a hood. I’d love to do some lovely old-fashioned mantilla eventually, but I don’t want to invest until I’m committed 🙂

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  5. Let me know how veiling goes. I used to veil for a while in college but I just found myself so hyper-aware of the veil and distracted by it, that it hindered me from focusing on the Mass–even at a parish where veiling isn’t out of the norm. I do love the meaning of it though.

    I’m doing a no-buy Lent (besides necessities) and I already fudged the rules to rent a movie for us to watch last night justifying it by the fact that it isn’t Joe’s penance. So you know, it’s going well…

    I’m also only reading spiritual reading–no novels. And I need to figure out how to spend less time on my phone, but Leo’s been sick all week so we’ve been trapped at home in survival mode and I’ve been giving in a lot to that one. I think really what I need to do is just learn how to bear my sufferings more patiently rather than giving up stuff, because this week has been showing me how bad I am at that. Oh Lent. So hard. So needed.

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    1. I’ve done it twice now, and it’s less awful than I expected, as I’m the Self Consciousness Queen. I’m not much more distracted than I was just wrangling a couple kiddos, though I am considering investing in something very lacy or light because it definitely heats me up!

      I am so good at sneaking around Lenten resolutions, even when I think in advance I’ve sort of hemmed myself in. So hard!

      And yes: bearing sufferings more patiently is the root, I guess. Someone give me an action plan!

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