I have to link back to this post about Shrove Tuesday and Lent because the masks are so beautiful. And because CoffeeMom rather neatly reminded me that I’ve not told BlogLand what I’m doing for Lent.
This is my first Lent as a nearly-Catholic. It will also be my last as I hope by this time next year to be looking back on my first year as a fully-paid-up member of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s a funny, in-between time. The great … what’s the word? … I don’t know. I guess what I feel is awe. Now, I don’t pepper my speech with ‘awesome’ so feeling awe is not something I take lightly. But being received into the Church is such a big and beautiful thing. It’s as though I’m only now realising what Jesus did (and does) for me at Calvary. I’ve taken to looking at crucifixes and knowing I put Him there and yet He’s inviting me into His beautiful Church …? It scrambles my brain if I think about it too long.
So, my first Lent. Lent isn’t a big deal in the Protestant tradition I was brought up in. Don’t get me wrong, there are Protestants who give something up or undertake a special task just the same as there are Catholics who allow Lent to swish by them without leaving an imprint. But it’s not something I’ve been asked to engage with before. And I have to confess to a having Butterfly Kingdom fluttering under my ribs.
I’ve decided to give up caffeine and commit to daily Mass. I’ve had a couple of days without caffeine in preparation although I’ve not cut it out completely – partly because of this nasty cold. And I was going to start daily Mass on Monday (because all good things start on a Monday, don’t you know) but, again, the cold has intervened.
My choices of caffeine and daily Mass are partly selfish. Migraines and anxiety have been making life rather miserable for a while and I’m hoping that cutting out caffeine will help. Meantime, daily Mass should get me up and moving in the morning without the second cup of coffee I’ve come to rely on. And the third …
I don’t know how I’m going to do. The spirit is willing but the flesh? Oh dear. I didn’t learn self-discipline as a child or a teen or an adult and it seems to get harder the older I get.
I thank God that my salvation is not dependant on my perfection but His grace. And that seems like a good point from which to begin this Lenten journey towards reception into the Catholic Church.