Lent Begins

Posted by: Richenda at Wednesday February 21, 2007 in

Ash Wednesday and my eyes sting. If I were a good Medieval woman I would now be scouring the market for beaver tail to feed my family during the lean days. Everyone knows beaver tail is really “fish” and not meat, right? lol. Poor creatures. I imagine them loping around the countryside minus their tails. Alone in a mad medieval world with nothing to slap to call for help….

Not a very reverent thought, I grant you, hordes of tail-less beavers every which way, perhaps planning together a meat day vengeance.

I guess in my jesting I really am thinking how divided we have become from the
everyday rituals that used to symbolize a shared faith. I miss a sense of shared cultural religious tradition. Some of it was repressive and is better gone, that’s true. But some of it was wonderful.

Meal time used to be an important shared experience, and lean days were meant to be a shared symbol of piety. Think how the bells of the village church used to ring out!

Now, our shared experience is a trip to Starbucks or the mall. Flippancy is what we are left with… Or savage, nihilistic irony…

(Question:What do es a ‘lean day’ look like in today’s America? What are the harmful excesses—no processed cheese or unnecessary packaging?)

Kudos to Bryan our pastor for the Ash Wednesday service. I liked its simplicity. And I liked the chance to just sit in contemplation for a while. I can see why people were drawn to the monastic life.

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