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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

To Have and Have Not

Sister, a contructive criticism made possible by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the Congregation of Christian Brothers, the Augustinian Fathers and the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross, all of whom taught me to pe precise in my expression, it is not "I understand that the Mother Superior wanted Sister Hepburn to have to do something huge to prove her metal."; the word you are searching for is "mettle". Thank you, Russ

Thank you, Russ! That was really bothering me! I know in print this sounds like I am being sarcastic, but I assure you, I am not.   I knew something was wrong but I could not remember the correct word.  Now I will write "mettle" on the board 400 times.

Now you must go write "constructive" on the board 20 times.  And "be".  Or maybe type those words.  I'm sure it was typing.  Unlike me, who actually had the wrong word altogether.

I do depend on my readers to let me know when I've tripped the type fantastic.  I often have to pick a new word, because I can't for the life of me remember how to spell something.  Here's one: "racked", as in "I racked my brain trying to think of the way to spell mettle."  Is that correct?  It always seems like it should be one of the silent "W" words to me.

It's a wonder I can put my shoes on.

How is everyone's Lent going?  I am facing my usual Lenten dilemma, whether or not to eat a McDonald's fish sandwich.  The answer is generally, no.  But I go round and round.

To begin with, the McDonald's fish sandwich was invented for Catholics.  Sitting in a habit, eating a fish sandwich on a Friday in Lent goes a long way toward our main mission: getting our souls and the souls of others to Heaven.  It's "a picture is worth a thousand words" moment.

And a "take a picture with your cell phone" moment, as far as I can tell.

Also, it's a thrifty thing to do.  The McDonald's fish sandwich is on sale on Friday's in Lent.  We like thrifty.  We need thrifty to survive.
I almost feel duty bound to head over to McDonald's on Fridays in Lent. I can even walk there. Talk about thrifty!  So what's the problem?

I love them.  I find them completely delicious.  The hot steamed bun, the slice of mild cheese, the thick tartar sauce dripping and oozing and squirting.  It doesn't seem right to me to have a treat on Fridays in Lent, the one day in the Lenten week where we 'up the ante' so to speak, by not only our regular Lenten fasting, but skipping meat as well.

Which reminds me...what do vegetarians do?  They never eat meat in the first place.  I suppose they give up cheese.  Or lentils.

What to do?  I think I'll have one.  Why? Because I have always referred to them as my 'guilty pleasure', not because of my Lenten dilemma, but because they are loaded with all things McDonaldsy bad.  Two million calories. Saturated fat. I'll focus on the 'guilty' and not the 'pleasure'.

And I'll just have the one.  Which will make me suffer all the more when I don't have another one.

Or.  I'll ask for a Hula Burger.


Paige said...

Mmmmm hula burger! I know a vegetarian who goes vegan or they make their meals really super simple, which is to say, no fancy seitan or whatever that stuff is.

Kathy (not the other one) said...

"Which reminds me...what do vegetarians do?"
Sister, I used to work at a living history museum where we recreated life on an Ulster farm in the early-ish 19th century. We learned, and taught, that potatoes and butter were the mainstays of people's diet, and only the better-off every had meat at all, even on holidays and Sundays. And when I say butter was a mainstay, I mean they ate up to a pound per person per day! (A lot of people also ate cabbage, but by this time of year, last year's cabbage was gone and the new cabbage hadn't come in yet.) So what did they have to give up for Lent? Butter, their main source of protein. That means all they had to eat all Lent long was dry boiled potatoes. Pretty miserable, and pretty unhealthy, too.

Maureen said...

Have your fish burger - and salve your Lenten conscience by putting the difference between the full cost and the Sale price into a little box each week. For Peter's Pence, perhaps.

Donna. W said...

Well great. Now I am wanting a McDonald's fish sandwich at 6 in the morning.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to go all the way to Ulster in the 19th century to find that kind of poverty. During the Great Depression, my mother tells me, late winter and early spring before the cow freshened, and the chickens and garden produced, Grandma served boiled wheat 3 meals a day everyday unless Grandpa brought home some wild game.

Bethany said...

Sister, I've found that google can help with that spelling thing too sometimes. It comes across as sort of snotty when it's correcting you, but it's useful because it knows phrases better than spellcheck, so could possibly have helped with metal/mettle.

Kathy, thanks for the info, I love learning about history, and living history museums are a huge weakness of mine! So interesting to hear a bit about that.

Katney said...

..or the rice bowl program for Catholic Relief Services. The calendar and poster that comes with the rice bowl collecting box has recipes.

And it is "wracked".

Dual Role Grandma said...

I love these, but can't have them any more (along with a short list of stuff such as coffee, McDonald's double cheese and iceberg lettuce). So, eat up, and have one for me.

Erika said...

I am a recent vegetarian, and I did a bit of research about Lent. It seems that nothing extra (food-wise) is required of vegetarians on Fridays during Lent, but I also decided to be vegan on Fridays. For me, it feels like it's about the equivalent of when I used to give up meat. (Although your post really made me want a fish sandwich, I used to love the McDonald's ones too!)

Anonymous said...

There is an old internet meme, going back to the Netnews days, that notes that spelling flames always contain a spelling error. I made that mistake with "constructive" and "be". I can see dropping the "t" but the "p" is nowhere near the "b"! While my comment was in no way a flame, you can bet that I have proofread this comment most carefully.


That Other Jean said...

@ katney: it depends on whether you mean "destroy" or "torture." To wrack is to destroy--or wrack is what's left after something is destroyed, as in "wrack and ruin"; to rack is to torture. Rack is usually the one used for "racking your brain."

Francis Faustina said...

I LOVE McDonald's Fish Sandwiches!!! I am a Catholic who practices no meat on ANY Friday so when I am out and about I thank GOD for McDonalds!
Due to the state of our country....this Lent I not only gave us sweets and sodas but I also am fasting, praying, and I made an outer garment of sack cloth and I cut my hair off.
I also started the Total Consecration on Ash Wednesday which has REALLY opened up things for me...it's like going into HYPER Lent!
I am a consecrated Widow who LOVES your Blog!!!

Anonymous said...

@ Russ, You also mentioned the Sisters of Loretto and I thought "Wait a minute, it's 'Loreto'' and did a search. The Holy House of Loreto is in Loreto, Italy, the Catholic Encyclopedia writes about the Holy House of Loreto, Saints.SPQN.com has an article about Our Lady of Loreto, as do Bob and Penny Lord, and there are Sisters of Loreto but also Sisters of Loretta (as you typed it) and even Sisters of Loreta!!! Help! It must be a Sacred Mystery -- right, Sister Mary Martha?

Nan said...

Anon, au contraire, P and B linguistically are a consonant pair.

Because I was raised in a non fish eating house, I always loved Lent, when my dad would take the kids to McDonalds, so Filet-o-Fish is a favorite and I rarely eat it during Lent because it is in no way penitential.

Erika, you're in good company with the vegan Lent; Orthodox tradition prohibits most animal products during Lent. I already don't eat meat on Friday so as added penance I'm not eating meat on Wed for Lent. Although not eating meat isn't a big deal for me, it's about obedience, not about how penitential a given act is for an individual.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am a graduate of Webster University in Webster Groves, MO and the school's official website notes that the Sisters of Loretto were founded in 1812 and the school's original name was Loretto College. Here is the Loretto community's website: http://www.lorettocommunity.org/

They are often confused with the Sisters of Loreto. Mother Theresa of Calcutta (Kolkuta) was a Sister of Loreto. Thus, no Sacred Mystery, only some confusion.


Unknown said...

St. Colette?

In feet? What?

Sister, have the fish filet -- even two of them. Live it up. I won't tell.