I’m all prepared for Lent. I’ve been to Confession twice in the past ten days; by no means am I bragging, (who does regarding Confession?) but when I went ten days ago it was the first time I had been in two months. That was the longest Confession-less streak since I sobered up and reverted in 2002. I flew out of Church, happy as a clam on Fridays outside of Lent and feeling so liberated. This past Sunday there was a chance offering of the sacrament after my Latin Mass, so I went again. Didn’t really need to but I wanted to “clear the pipes” as it was close to Ash Wednesday. Again, I felt lighter and freer.
Confession is awesome. And I mean “awesome” in the typical sense of being awe-inspiring. You approached God for His Mercy, being aware of His Justice. You humbled yourself, admitted to being a sinner, confessed and was washed in the graces of His absolution. How can anyone resist going? Granted, it is difficult if you go once a year or so; if you go frequently, like I typically do at least once a month, then you develop a relationship with Jesus and appreciate that oftentimes He speaks through His priest. I am aware that people have had bad experiences with some priests in Confession; the solution to that is go find another. Ask around. It’s worth travelling for.
I am not sure as to how often I’ll blog during this season; typically Lent is an active time for me here at Sober Catholic. Some years I blog daily, or nearly so; others, not so much. For those readers who are new, here is a link to all of my past Lenten posts:
Another thing to do for your daily spiritual uplift is read the Daily Mass Readings (going to Mass every day during Lent is the best Lenten practice if you can do it, apart from personal prayer, fasting and almsgiving.) There are three sources for daily Mass readings: USCCB Daily Readings and Vatican Daily readings. They’re the same. For the daily readings according to the Extraordinary Rite (the “Traditional Latin Mass”) there’s this: Traditional Mass Daily Readings
I had said in a previous post on Septuagesima that I wasn’t sure as to what I’ll “give up” or “do for Lent.” I decided that I will not give up social media; rather, I’ll abstain from social media until I have accomplished certain needed things (blogging, writing, reading.) Once I’ve reached whatever goal I’ve set, I’ll maybe login to Facebook, etc. I told a friend that the best Lenten practices are those that you can continue doing after Lent is over. Otherwise, it’s like a diet that you’ve started to lose a certain amount of weight. However, once you’ve lost the desired amount, you return to your previous eating habits and what happens? You regain the lost weight. So, the best Lenten practices are those that can be maintained even after Lent is over. Why? Because Lent forces us to be cognizant of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. Christians are supposed to adapt that into their lives.
Matthew 16:24-25 “Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone is willing to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever would save his life, will lose it. But whoever will have lost his life for my sake, shall find it.”
Countless saints have remarked that meditating on the Lord’s Passion is amongst the most grace-filled devotions. Adapting the lessons of the Passion to our daily lives is the best way to grow closer to our Lord and Saviour (a repeated theme of this blog.)
Perhaps I’ll blog on that a few times a week…
Remember, another popular Lenten practice is The Stations of the Cross.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)