Tag Archives: Catholic Church

Lenten intentions

Today was pretty much a write-off. I managed to miss my sleep window last night and didn’t crash until after 2 am. And this after the stop-and-go traffic for an hour and a half on my way back from Barrie yesterday.


I didn’t make progress on any of my projects, but rather got sucked into a genealogy vortex for a couple of hours this morning, lay down on the sofa to read after lunch, and crashed for four hours. Awoke to darkness except for the glow of my herb garden.

IMG_0039And isn’t she beautiful? My mom gave it to me for Christmas and I had to find a place in my cluttered kitchen/study to put it. I finally got it set up  a couple of days ago, and today I noticed some shoots starting to emerge! I see fresh herbs in my future.

I missed Ash Wednesday mass yesterday with my outing, which was coordinated with others before I realized what day it was. My Lenten intentions this year include … gulp … giving up sweets (not including fruit or other naturally sweetened whole foods.) And of course to follow the prescribed fast days. How does this play out for me? No frozen yogurt bar halfway through the afternoon. No ordering meaty pizza on Friday nights. No chocolate bars or baking pies or putting Nesquik syrup in my afternoon iced coffee. No apple fritters at Tim Hortons when I’m on the road. I should probably avoid my organic nut and seed bars because, lets be honest, they’re full of honey and are really just a protein-heavy, gluten-free candy-bar.

There is a debate among Catholics of good faith about whether Sundays during Lent should be a wild card, exempted from the fasting and other promises. I’m going to call it a “no” for this year at least, as I suspect I am fairly addicted to sugar and getting it mostly out of my system for 40 days in a row is probably better than a little binge every seven days.
I had a momentary debate with myself about the Foundry Cider I pulled out the fridge to go with my dinner. Sugar? Na. But I thought I’d check the nutrition label and found that there isn’t one. But there’s this instead:

foundry can

I don’t want to be legalistic about all this. We’re also called to acts of charity and spirituality, for which I have planned. But there are good reasons why Catholics have these traditions and rules. Every time I crave something sweet over the next forty days, I am reminded that my suffering is nothing.  And that’s great preparation for the highest of feast days that we approach.

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Jack’s First Communion

I haven’t been to many First Communions. I became Catholic as an adult, as did my brother John, so I didn’t grow up with the sacrament, nor did I have many Catholic friends whose children passed through this stage. From this limited experience, I understood that this typically occurs outside of a regular Sunday mass. Not so at Our Lady of Perpetual Help here in Toronto. The children receiving for the first time did so during mass with their families, with no other to-do than an acknowledgement of the importance of the day in the homily, a brief assembly at the front of the church, and a request that the children process out of the church first for photo op immediately after mass on the front steps of the church. The priest spoke about the reason for this: that the children are becoming part of a larger community and that while this is an important step in their lives, it is something that they do together with the body of Christ in the Church. John’s eldest son Jack went through this with his classmates this morning. After the service we convened to their home for lunch with family and friends. A snap of Jack with my men:

Alex, Jack, Zouheir (his godfather), Michael
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