I've wanted to summarise my recent Lenten Journey before this, but in many respects I'm still coming to grips with it
The aim in Lent, is to have a "good Lent", which can sometimes feel like chasing the cake of soap around the bottom of the shower. Lent, like Christmas and Easter, comes around each year; knocking on the door of our busy lives, challenging us to fasting, penance and alms giving. Challenging our faith to be real... this year I did feel strongly that I wanted or needed to do something special. What came to mind was to "fast" my online presence, a bit like digital monasticism? I was a little aghast at the time, but I thought I was up for the challenge: so why not?
What ended up happening, in cartoon style, was I started off dipping my toe into the water, only to find that I got swamped by a huge wave...
Totally unplanned in all of this, and a little surprising when it actually happened, was Sandi's trip back to visit her Dad in New Zealand: So I also ended up "fasting" Sandi!
Being by myself a lot of the time meant that I had a lot of extra time available, that I tried to use wisely in pursuits of weekly confession, Friday Mass and daily spiritual reading. Not that I hit the nail on the head each time, but it was pretty neat, if not a little intense... this was the swamping feeling I mentioned; but it was very much a journey (that in some ways I feel I'm yet to quite finish).
The weekly confession was a challenge too. When we converted to Catholicism the whole Reconciliation / Confession thing was not overly well done: they tended diminish the role of the standard forms of confession and go with a more "modern" conversational form. So when we go to confession now there are no rules to help us through: and that made confession difficult. I thought a spot of immersion therapy would help me get over that, and it's definitely helped.
All this self reflection led to two poems being written to help me verbalise my feelings and work through them. "The Lenten Journey Home" was the first, the start of the journey and thankfully not the end, as even now it feels a little stark. The first step is always knowing that you have a problem . "After the Catharsis" is all about that wave that swamped me after I dipped my toe in the water, and the struggle to find direction in the aftermath. There's also a third in there somewhere, a reconciliation and culmination, but it's a little slow getting birthed.
In the end I also started drilling holes in our toilet wall and putting wine bottles into them -- as a surprise for Sandi when she came home! She was definitely surprised!!
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