Saturday, March 15, 2014

Efforts in Lent

Ten days and counting...
Catholics are currently in the midst of the 40 days of Lent. We are each supposed to either give up some personal comfort as a sacrifice, increase our charitable giving, and/or do some extra good work. If we're feeling really ambitious, we try to do all three ("try" being the operative word).

This year, I'm trying a two-pronged approach. I'm doing my usual spiritual reading. This is no great effort for me, as I am both an avid reader and very interested in spiritual subjects. I've started with the best-seller Killing Jesus. This is the first of the Bill O'Reilly/Martin Dugard "Killing" trilogy that I've read, and it's remarkably well done. It's written in a very easy, conversational style and is fascinating in historical detail. I'm tearing through it, so I've queued up Open Mind, Faithful Heart by Pope Francis for the second half of Lent.

The second part of my Lenten exercise is giving up wine. This is a hard one. Although I only imbibe during weekend evenings, Friday/Saturday/Sunday, I do look forward to connecting with my wine glass and am feeling the void. Somehow, ginger ale and lemon water just aren't cutting it as a relaxing beverage to savor on DVD night. I tried this particular form of self-denial a couple of years ago and did fairly well; I lasted until Palm Sunday weekend. At that point I went to a party and the hostess, knowing my favorite party drink, handed me a glass full of aromatic red wine as soon as I arrived.

What can I say; I folded. As the Lord well understands, "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

I know I'll finish both my chosen books before Lent is over. As for not drinking any wine, that's a dubious goal. The annual March party is scheduled next weekend at my wine-pouring neighbor's home. I'll let you know how I do.