I just looked at my blogging list, and saw about 5 blog posts on Lent, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon! Let me begin by saying that my spiritual life has been somewhat lacking of late. Lent is the "spring" of the liturgical calendar; a time to start anew.
I went to Mass at the University's Catholic Center last night. I was amazed at how the University students piled in to participate. It was packed!
One advantage about going to Mass at the University is "The Little Black Book". I've mentioned this in posts a few years ago. Here is what today's page looks like:
The left side of the page has "what happened in history on this day" as it relates to Christians...not just Catholics. The right side has a passage from the Bible, as well as a narrative. 6 minutes...that's all it takes.
I learned something at Mass last night: since Ash Wednesday isn't a Holy Day of Obligation, we did not recite the Nicene Creed, which is recited every Sunday. I didn't realize that it wasn't said when it's not a Holy Day. There are so many things to learn.
After Mass, I stopped by Subway to pick up a tuna sandwich to take home. For those that don't know, all Catholics 14 and older are required to observe "fast and abstinence": Fasting on Ash Wednesday & Good Friday, and Abstaining from meat on Ash Wed. and all Fridays during Lent. Fasting isn't as "hard core" as it used to be: 3 small meals that don't equal 1 total meal is all that's required. Oh, and no meat. Fish, yes...meat, no.
Anyway (I got off track!), when I was at Subway, the "sandwich artist" kept looking at me, and finally he said, "You've got something on your forehead". I leaned forward and said, "It's a cross. It's Ash Wednesday." That was all I said, but then I thought that was a perfect time to expand on that. So, when he was ringing me up, I said that I had just come from Mass, and it was Ash Wednesday. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed he didn't ask anything else about it, but maybe it was just enough to get him wondering. It's been so long since someone has questioned the ashes, it took me a little off-guard. I guess you never know what one little seed will turn into!