February 26, 2004

Switching the Default

I'm going to try to join fellow bloggers Jeff and Robert on their "listening tour"... i.e. blogging less and listening more.
In many Westerns there's a character who'll say, "I only kilt what needed killin'". I'd like for this blog to only say what needs sayin', unlikely as that may turn out to be.

What I love about this time of year is that the "default" mode is penitential. During other liturgical seasons, I guard a principle of fairness. I don't want to be taken advantage of, even in the relatively minute way of doing more of the chores around the house than anyone else. But at least during this season I feel no sense of entitlement when it comes to fairness. Perhaps Lent shouldn't be the only season this attitude takes root, or more accurately tentatively puts down feelers. But it is liberating not to mentally play the game of measurements.

I echo Bill's sentiments on Ash Wednesday. I almost wish the Church would extend the fast to every Wednesday and Friday. You might say, "what's to stop you?" and you'd be right. But there is something enormously different about the whole Church going through it together. It really takes the "choice" out of it and makes the penance relatively painless (not that the latter should be the goal). You know you are refraining from something not by personal edict but by rule from something outside yourself. I trust the Church more than I trust myself with regard to most everything, although I realize the Church's rules are MDRs - Minimum Daily Requirements - and should be seen as such.

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