Dear Esteemed and Occasionally Mysterious Readers:
I would like for you to please explain to me the modern concept of Lent. Weigh in whether you are Catholic or not, whether you observe Lent or not. I do not personally observe Lent, but as a student at a Catholic University, many of my peers do.
The rest of this section I say with the utmost respect…and respectful confusion.
I understand where Lent came from.
I understand why it is done.
What I do not understand is the selection of things given up for Lent. Oftentimes, people will give up food items like chocolate or coffee or candy or alcohol. And of course there’s the meat on Friday’s…
I think it is a good exercise to give up a pleasure for a time, simply to become aware of how and why you are using it.
What confuses me is the idea of sacrifice involved. Yes, a person may love dessert, but giving it up for forty days is actually good for them.
I feel that if I were really going to make a meaningful sacrifice to God, it would not be a vice, but instead would be something which is good for me, which I tend to depend on. If I were going to make a sacrifice, I would offer up my exercise routine, or green vegetables, or trade in two of my normal hours of sleep for prayer time.
Does this make sense?
I feel like using Lent to jump-start a lifestyle-makeover is kind of cheating.
Also, many (most definitely NOT ALL) people I observe appear to celebrate (or am I allowed to use the word celebrate? As long as it’s not alleluia? Oh crud…) Lent just because it is the “thing to do”, not because they are serving God, or remembering the forty days in the desert, or preparing themselves for the Easter vigil. Not eating meat because they are following an arbitrary rule–not because they really feel compelled from their soul to do so.
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, but from my perspective a lot of Lent-observers are doing so merely because it is the social thing to do. And perhaps there is merit in that. After all, we all observe things just because our society does, like Valentine’s and observing personal space bubbles and exchanging compliments freely or wishing everyone a happy birthday whether you like them or not.
Am I wrong? What do you think?
I’ve got one paper to write over break (I got an extension because I’ve been overloaded with homework and performances), and a Chemistry midterm tomorrow. I have a flute adjudication on Saturday. Then, it’s Spring Break!
Last night before bed I was making a list of things to do over Spring break, and I was horrified as it just grew longer, and longer, and longer, and longer, and longer, and…. you understand.
Basically, my spring break will not involve running around on a beach in a bikini trashed out of my mind (not that that would ever be in the likely realm of possible Emilie actions….) but will instead involve me hunched over homework, using lovely posture over the piano, and also hunched over my Orlofsky costume, and consequently my serger and my sewing machine. And spending time with some friends.
No day is ever empty.
I got some new books today from the free book shelf at SMU.
I’m a bit of a hog.
I’ve probably taken over 18 books from that shelf, and never once put one on. I just don’t want to give my books away. I want to keep them. So I can read them. And re-read them. And alphabetize them by author and genre, and alphabetize the genres. So I can cut out little book plates and insert them into my books, marking them indelibly as a part of me:
So that I can lend my books to friends and share with them my passions. So that one day, maybe very late in life, I can have a library with a ladder. Or at least a wall of books with a ladder?
I think before graduation I will buy a copy or two of one of my favorite books and leave it on the shelf as a way to partially make up for my literary selfishness.
No wonder I always need more bookcases.
On the subject of books, last weekend after my mini flute recital I accidentally went the wrong way on the freeway. Or, rather, I went the wrong direction but the right way on the freeway, going North instead of South. While I was going that direction, and as it was only one exit away, I decided to stop into Barnes & Noble for some fun browsing and potential purchasing. I wandered around for what felt only like a few minutes, but what turned out to be over an hour jotting down titles on my ipod of books which I someday would like to own. I also walked very slowly up and down the clearance aisles, searching for something I might call my own with very little expenditure. Several titles caught my eye. One book in particular I wanted for a lark, but I wasn’t sure if I could justify it to myself. I went home empty handed, but thought about it for a couple of days. Yesterday, when at Trader Joe’s grabbing a salad for lunch, I decided that I really did want the book so I popped on over and scooped it up. For $4.58 my dear friends, I rescued this treasure from the bargain bin.
Yes, you read that right. The title is “bOObs, a guide to your girls.”
This book promises me information about buying the right bra size, mammograms, fixing my perceptions on what boobs ought to look like, and so so so much more. I have yet to read it, but I have high hopes. 293 pages all for the same cost as a salad.
On the subject of boobs…or bOObs…I got a bra from Vicky’s today (it was on sale) and I got a free pair of panties (they sent me, and thousands of other consumers, free cards in the mail). I also got another gift card which is redeemable in April and is worth at least $10, but could potentially be worth $100 or $400 bucks. I’m not counting on it, but even $10 is great. I love Victoria’s Secret. I love their products, but most especially I love their gift bags.
Their new bags are slightly different with darker stripes, and I love them as well.
Speaking of bags….
I’ve rambled far too much for this poor blog post (honestly, it’s a wonder to me how you all wade through my word count–but I absolutely love it when you do!)
I hope you (and I) can make it through Friday.
P.S. It is incredibly hilarious when my accompanist refers to section numbers in music as “circle number 15”
P.P.S. All pictures which do not belong to me lead to their sources with a simple click.