Lent begins tomorrow, so scarf those fatty doughnuts or indulge in whatever Mardi Gras traditions you choose before we settle in for forty days of discipline. Here are my favorite things about Lent.
The minimalism. The spirit of Lent is encapsulatd in the words uttered as our foreheads are marked by cruciform ashes.
Meménto, homo, quia pulvis es, et in púlverem revertéris.
Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.
Concentration is focused on three simple things accessible and customizable to every person: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Cultural distractions during Lent are minimal compared to the consumer onslaught endured during Advent. The Easter Bunny is a minor distraction, at best.
Holy Heroes provides wonderful FREE resources to help your children (and you) make the most out of this holy season. All of my children have loved Holy Heroes.
Devotions and liturgies. Unfortunately, I’ve not attended Stations of the Cross in years. They’re typically scheduled at nap time or dinner and bedtime, so I’ve been known to use a kid-friendly version of the devotions and tape postcard-size depictions of the stations on our walls. The Ash Wednesday and Triduum liturgies are all rich, solemn, and ideal for contemplation.
There are seven mandatory meatless days during Lent: Ash Wednesday and six Fridays. Here is one of my favorite meatless meals that is simple to make, nutritious, delicious, and inexpensive.
16-oz. pkg. (about 2-1/2 cups) dry lentils
8 cups water
3/4 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
16-oz. can (2 cups) tomatoes, undrained, cut up
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Wash and sort lentils. In 5-quart Dutch oven, combine lentils, water, celery, carrots, parsley, salt, oregano, pepper, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer 1-1/2 hours. Stir in tomatoes and vinegar. Cover; simmer an additional 30 minutes or until soup reaches desired thickness. 6 servings.
Taken from: The Pillsbury Cookbook, 1989. pg. 749
This soup goes great complemented by a garden salad and fresh bread. For those watching their diet, it is 6 Weight Watchers PointsPLUS per serving.
I can’t characterize this one as penitential or sacrificial in any way, but it is delicious! Our locally-famous parish fish fry is outstanding for both its meals and desserts. The chocolate-dipped Easter eggs sold from now until Easter have been named one of Central PA Magazine’s 52 Local Bites.
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