Lenten Revgalblogpal Friday Five

As you might expect, this week's Friday Five has a Lenten Theme:

1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras and/or Ash Wednesday this week? How?
We were invited to a Mardi Gras party (which was actually on Super Bowl Sunday). On Mardi Gras proper I said at breakfast that I'd love pancakes for "Fat Tuesday," and by the power of suggestion one of my housemates made some quite delicious pancakes for us! Ash Wednesday I went to liturgy in the morning (where I received my ashes) and spent the rest of the day in our integration/prayer experience.

2. What was your most memorable Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday/Lent?
My most "memorable" Lent was probably the one after my mom died. Somehow walking the journey of suffering with her made the whole season more real and powerful to me.

3. Did you/your church/your family celebrate Lent as a child? If not, when and how did you discover it?
We always gave things up ... we're Catholic. No meat on Ash Wednesday or Fridays as well. I don't know that I ever really considered it a time for prayer until I returned to the church in my late 20's. A friend of mine told me that she always took Ash Wednesday and Good Friday off from work and spent the day in contemplation. I started doing that and it opened up a whole new perspective on Lent (and the spiritual life) for me.

4. Are you more in the give-up camp, or the take-on camp, or somewhere in between?
Somewhere in between. One year I gave up swearing for Lent. Things weren't going so well, so I started fining myself for each bad word and bought food for our food pantry. Let's just say the poor in our parish were well fed that Lent! ;) ... Of course now I look back and realize I'm glad I went through that experience. In my current line of work my former potty mouth would be a liability! That's a funny (if true) story, but really I think it's important to prayerfully consider how you might be transformed during the season of Lent. It gives us an opportunity to be intentional about our relationship with God. Sometimes through outward ways, sometimes through inner, sometimes through both. It's the intention that's important I think.

5. How do you plan to keep Lent this year?
I'm focusing on de-cluttering my life - both spiritual and physical. In one of the reflection books I'm using for Lent (that was actually a door prize at the Mardi Gras party) I read these words today: "there is something about experiencing our imperfections that can make room for the divine in our lives." Making room ... that's what I'm about this Lent. This probably sounds strange coming from a member of a religious community, but I think I need to let go of some of my reasons for "why" I can't be close to God.

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