Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Wednesday in Ashes

Each year I attempt to observe Lent in some form, to give up something. Today my intentions ended as a pile of ashes. I don't know all the theology behind Lent, or the reasons for the well-defined Lenten disciplines in Orthodoxy and Catholicism. But it does strike me as an excellent exercise in spiritual discipline.

Trouble is, with our Lenten disciplines we often seem to be treating the symptoms of spiritual sickness and not the root causes. I don't know how this will turn out, but I know after today I have to approach things differently.

One thing that has long irritated me is all the 'noise' in our lives. From constant musak/satellite radio playing in the background in the most unexpected public spaces to the rolling bass amplifiers some people think of as cars. . . to, well, you name it. Too much noise, too much distraction. Any day now, I expect to see news coverage of a newly defined syndrome in adults that is akin to 'overstimulated baby syndrome".

So, for the rest of Lent I'm tuning out and turning off. No Facebook will be poured over, no blogs will be read. I hope to devote some concentrated time to reading and, in consequence of that, there will still be some posts here. Otherwise, you can reach me here:


Gina M. Danaher said...

I'm with you, although my approach will be a little different. I do like getting my news from Facebook friends who pass along serious, thoughtful articles by serious, thoughtful Christians. Therefore, I will stay on Facebook through Lent, but I will abstain from talk radio which is a staple of mine everyday. The problem is, my attention to the blah, blah, blah, crowds out my time in contemplation of the Scriptures. I have been convicted of this for a long time and have wanted to break this addiction. Lent gives me a reason for concentrating on spiritual growth, but something had to be eliminated to make room for that time in the Word and Christian contemplation. Blocking out all of the chatter seemed to be the wisest choice.
Have a Blessed Lent.

Alice C. Linsley said...


Here is a blog that I think you would like. Savia is a regular reading of Just Genesis.

Alice C. Linsley said...

The purpose of Lenten disciplines is to clear things out of our lives to make more room for God. If noise is a problem, then clear it. Be sure to use the silence you found for prayer.

The reason for giving up meat isn't just to deny ourselves something we might enjoy, but to take the money we saved by eating beans and rice and give it to the poor.

As my priest is fond of saying, "Fasting without prayer is simply a diet."

You are right. The hard part isn't making room as much as it is filling the cleared space.