Ordinary Time is almost at an end. We are about to begin my favorite time of year, short of Advent and Christmas. Lent begins next Wednesday, one week from today.
It is Wednesday, isn't it? Ordinary Time is so ordinary, sometimes I lose track. Ever do that? Go through one whole day thinking it's a different day and become all discombobulated when you finally realize you're on the wrong day? Sometimes it's just one little trigger that will set you off. Somebody makes spaghetti on Tuesday instead of Spaghetti Wednesday and then all day Wednesday you think it's Thursday because you had your Wednesday spaghetti on Tuesday. I just hope I manage to show up at school on Friday and not stay home because I think it's Saturday.
Hi Sister, even though it's still a couple of weeks away I have a lent question for you. I am 16 weeks pregnant and I think the catechism says that pregnant women are exempted from the obligation to fast on Ash Wednesday. I was wondering if that was true, could you recommend any other type of fasting or penance that doesn't involve food or anything too physical which could put stress on my baby.
You have come to the right place!
First, let's remember why we fast on Ash Wednesday, all the Fridays and do penance in general, during Lent. We do it to align ourselves with Jesus' Suffering.
Suffering isn't all about food. It's just what the Church picked out for us to do because everybody eats. The Church couldn't very well say, "Give up your fun tennis game with that other couple that you do every Friday for Lent." Everybody doesn't play tennis.
But everybody eats. Which reminds me. If you are trying to lose weight or stop smoking, do it on your own time. Lent isn't about self improvement.
Well....it is....but not like that. I hope everyone can see the difference.
So what can you do instead of fasting?
1. Get up an hour earlier and clean your house the way St. Therese the Little Flower would do it, as if you were doing it because Jesus was coming over.
2. Offer up your morning sickness to the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
3. Wear an uncomfortable shirt all day. Don't complain.
4. Don't complain about anything.
5. Have tea with some lonely old person.
6. Make your favorite dinner for everyone else in the family and you have a little peanut butter and jelly sandwich and milk.
7. Think of the one thing you love to do everyday, like talk on the phone or watch your soap opera, and don't do it. Pray a rosary instead.
8. Clean someone else's kitchen.
9. Wear an embarrassing hat.
10. Put a couple of dried peas in one of your shoes for the day.
I could go on and on. It's really easy once you get started.
I am a veritable font of Lenten advice. And I'm old school.
Sister Mary Martha, your blog and daily mass are the spiritual food I need to make it through my weeks. As a young college student, I'm looking for the patron saint of procrastinators. Even right now at 12:22AM I'm avoiding my research paper that's due in a few hours! Is there any saint who can help me rid my terrible habit?
Of course! He's a big seller!