Wednesday, April 6, 2011
As I've mentioned before, I am sort of a Catholic. That means that for most of my life, I have observed the season of fasting and prayer called Lent.
As a kid, I would always give up treats for Lent. Do you know how difficult it is for a kid to not eat any sweets for 40 whole days and nights? It was particularly difficult for me, though, because I lived in the land of kids who weren't Catholic and didn't know a thing about Lent, so I was always having to explain myself when someone offered me candy and I refused. Plus, one of my good friends always had a birthday in March, which coincided with Lent, and she would have the most terrific birthday parties filled to the brim with cake and candy. From 3rd to 9th grade, I had to endure these parties. My mouth would water as I sat and ate endless amounts of other junk food like chips and juice in order to avoid the cake and candy. I remember once sneaking bites of a Snickers bar after all the other girls had fallen asleep.
It was not my best moment.
So, being the good Catholic girl that I was, I confessed this indiscretion to my priest. It took me weeks and weeks to summon the courage to tell him. I thought I'd have to be saying Hail Mary's for the rest of the year. He just said to me through the little screen, which is weird that we didn't do face to face confessions in this tiny Catholic community of about 10 people, as if the priest didn't know who he was talking to... So, he said to me through the little screen, "Sweetheart. Breaking your Lenten promise is not a sin. It is just something you try your best to do, but it doesn't count as a sin."
Not a sin?? No Hail Mary's for the rest of the year? You mean to tell me that I've had all this pressure on me from what I thought was God to not eat treats during Lent, and it is not even a sin? That I was putting the pressure on myself? Well, I'll be...
After that, I continued to give up treats for Lent, because I felt that it was a good thing to do. I realized a few years ago that it sort of became a self-pride thing, though, and less about Jesus. So, I gave up giving up treats for Lent for a few years. Genius.
This year, I thought I would try it again. I decided to give up treats and drinking wine at home. That's right. Only at home. I mean, come on, people, I live in Italy.
I haven't been doing perfect. I've taken a bite of chocolate here and there, but for the most part, I've been observing my Lenten fast. Then, last night, something happened. I decided that, well, you see, I live in Italy, and, well, I'm not going to live here forever, so, well, I sort of bought a carton of gelato from the store and then proceeded to make a decedent Italian meal and drink some red wine with it...
But I'm not a sinner, right?
I'm only human.
p.s. Could somebody please tell me if I am supposed to capitalize the word, "Lent." Or, is that just my Catholic guilt coming out?
Posted by Blaine Family at 9:19 AM