Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ashes, Ashes...

Toby in Ukulele Box (from one of Marcy's Bday presents)

Yesterday was the beginning of the Lenten season.

I go to the Cathedral here in Erie, a large, amazing, stone block structure.  But during Mass, the winds were so strong that the building was being played like some out of tune instrument.  Even in that building that feels like it has risen from the earth, I felt worried and anxious.

"Be Free from all Anxiety..."

Umm...nope.  Haven't quite gotten to that level of trust yet.

I went to Ash Wednesday Mass thinking that I wasn't going to "give up" anything for Lent, per say, but that I would just mindfully and closely follow the season and see what happened.  I had a guide at the ready.  I was set!  GO!

But as often happens in Mass, I got some clarity about my approach.

There is nothing wrong with just following along closely and being more mindful day to day.

But I most certainly do have something that I need to work on giving up and this 40 days before Holy Week is just the time.

As this wind blows away the Winter and blows in the Spring, I too have things to release so that other things might grow.

For Lent, I am giving up mistrust.

You heard me.

It's not supposed to be easy.  Sugar is easy.  Mistrust.  Not so much.

HOW will I do this?  By watching for and then routing out those impulses that tell me, Oh, NO! Something Bad will happen!  Oh, No, everything can't be okay, right?

This Lent, I will attempt to release my basic sin -- as in Aquinas' view of sin, meaning that which blocks us from love or that which is misdirected love.

Mistrust has held me back from fully embracing and giving myself over to all that I claim to love.

Time to say buh-bye.

If a strong wind could blow away something that you no longer need, what would it be?


Tess said...

I'm with you on the anxiety. That nagging sense that something will go wrong and that I won't be able to cope with it, or that I'll make a complete fool of myself. That's what I'd like the wind to blow away.

Good luck with the mistrust!

Heather Plett said...

Good question. I ned to think about that for awhile.

Lent sort of snuck up on me this year, and though I've contemplated several things, I haven't made a decision to give anything up yet. I want to, but haven't come across the right thing yet. Perhaps your question will dislodge something for me.

Linnea said...

I don't know. I left the church some years ago and Lent hasn't really been a part of my life since. Like Heather, it snuck up on me. However, I like the contemplative nature of Lent, though as I write this I wonder if I contemplate too much and perhaps I should *do* more instead.

LSL said...

I read something a few years back about women and Lent, so now I try to take up something for Lent. here is an article that talks about a similar view that has been going around among my circle of friends.

Ellen said...

I'm not Catholic...but I like the idea of Lent and really the whole Christian year - that idea that there are seasons for different things. I'd like to piggy back here and also give up mistrust. It's one of my number one issues. For me, it's almost always mistrust of other people. Can I do it, for forty days? There is at least a time limit.

thanks for the thought and good luck bliss chick

Grace said...

I'm so glad you didn't say chocolate! I think Lent is about more than giving up such things (which let's be honest here, are probably done more in the hopes of losing a few extra pounds). I think mistrust is a challenge to give up, but well worth it, and you seem to have a strong spiritual background to see you through.

Did you read Abbey of the Arts article on Lent about praticing truth-telling?

Jemma said...

Do you know Kristin Noelle's web-site which is all about "tending trust"? She makes a lovely offer: you can sign up to have a simple sketch about trust sent to you each day. Giving up mistrust for Lent seems like an opportunity to take on trust in an active way....