|I just love the photo. What could be more culturally Catholic?|
|One friend commented on her surprise that so many people give up FB for Lent|
In cross country, the three most important words are June, July and August. This translates to summer running. Those athletes who train before the season begin are stronger, fitter, get faster during the season and with the right coaching prevent injury (even overuse injury!). They approach the time trial with a noticeable confidence. Their ability to really compete in the early season races bears fruit during those much later in the season.
As important as summer running is however, we have girls that haven't logged a mile since track or worse...since the season prior. They know this and so do we. We meet girls where they are at, but it sure makes the climb a lot more strenuous.
|Anyone who tells you they love the erg is lying.|
To me, this is striking analogy for anything we do that we want to do at our best. I try not to show up for class the minute the bell rings and expect my students to be ready and prepped for the lesson. I know this is why I was taught to pull out the kneeler and spend a little bit of time in prayer before the Mass begins; that exercise can put me in the right space for the communal celebration of the liturgy. I also think it would have served me well to spend a little time in preparation before the season of Lent begins. Some of you know this as Mardi Gras and others as Carnival! We feast before the famine, we say goodbye to the flesh. Maybe I'm just making a push for Mardi Gras to extend far beyond South Louisiana and Mobile, AL and I am.
I had the good fortune of teaching at Our Lady of Prompt Succor in White Castle, LA for two years in the Alliance for Catholic Education. My time in South Louisiana taught me that Mardi Gras wasn't a just a single day, but rather, it is a season. We would have slices of King Cake every Friday from the Feast of the Epiphany and a whole lot on Fat Tuesday. The next day, the celebratory colors of purple, gold and green were stripped down to one—just purple—which symbolizes repentance.
|It's ridiculous how much I love King Cake...|
Next year, I aim to go to Confession at least once after Christmas before Lent begins. A number of Catholic social media sites provide ample resources for prayer and thinking creatively about Lent. Lent is—after all—game time. Bring it.
I hope this Lent is a time of personal growth and holiness for you, and the whole world.
Ash Wednesday taken by Paul Totah