A Lent with no Additives

Lent seems like the last thing a Sailor would do. Actually, Tradition and the Desire for God probably have to pull this fellow kicking and screaming through Lent. Lent seems to equal DISENGAGE reality, or maybe disengage creaturely reality and take hold of a higher one.

But that still spells out disengaging with our creaturely existence. Or does it?

Besides the incredibly visceral things Lent offers--Stations of the Cross (which deserves its own post), more time for the Sacraments, soup suppers & pretzels, what about a Lent with no additives. A Lent where your penances are not merely doing without, but actually engaging things without the palatable additions that make things so comfortable. Take coffee, for example. What about really drinking it, without cream or sugar or any of those things. (If you like it black, this is not for you.) What a difficult penance, but one that really takes life on with the parts we like and the parts we don't like.

Other ideas:
  • Meals without condiments.
  • Beds without stuffed animals, books, glasses of water, hot water bottles, extra pillows.
  • Walk somewhere in the rain or out of it. In the snow.
  • Keep the heat at a constant temperature.
  • Baths without frills.
  • Listen to someone with your full attention. Do not multi-task, check email, play solitaire, etc.
  • Study without snacks.

The more I think of it, there are a lot of things I don't embrace, don't want to do, or want to want to do, and rely on treats to get me through them. And that does not sound like "Engage Reality."



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