Workout Records ze Brain Farts[Posted on ]

Ash Saturday & Allies

I made the mistake of not reading the reflection for today’s Lenten journey before my training run — it would have been nice to have read it first thing in the morning, then used the time I spent running in active meditation. Instead, I kept thinking (and worrying) about my shins (they’ve been acting up ever since I started wearing shoes to my run), then my right IT band, my nutrition (it was actually fine — I should’ve just brought another packet of Clifshot Gel), et cetera et cetera et cetera! But then midway through mile 9, just as I was stretching my tightening right IT band, I was reminded of my great aunts and maternal grandmother — just randomly had a thought of them — and how important Lent was to them.

Which brings me back to today’s reflection and what struck me about it was the “old” and the “new”. Without posting the section in its entirety, here are some excerpts from Ash Saturday:

“The purple of Lent is a good [colour] to remind us all that we are perpetual penitents, that we are sinners in the process of ongoing reform. As such, this Lenten journey of ascent reflects the entire Christian life. It’s an upward path that requires more than an instant change of heart. …

Isaiah reminds you, in case you’ve forgotten, that the proper work of Lent is not pious prayer — although that may be of assistance — but the work of removing oppression from your home, workplace and social environment.

You may have known the path of the old Lent– with its denial of pleasures, its stations of the cross, fast and abstinence– like the back of your hand. It would be natural to fear that if you venture form on such a different, prophetic kind of Lent, you might lose your way. Fear not, Isaiah says, for God will be your compass if you follow God’s way of fast and penance.

In the old Lent the various personal spiritual works were called Lenten penances. They were often harsh and heavy-handed acts of self-denial. Reflect today on how in the new Lent, which is taking shape because of the reforms inspired by the Holy Spirit in the Second Vatican Council, instead of penances we should select Lenten allies.  …

These allies are whatever might assist or support your work toward the kind of inner reform that leads to the coming of the reign of God.1

It’s funny that “old Lent” is exactly what I was taught as I was brought up in the Catholic faith. Despite “Vatican II” my great aunts and grandmother hung on to the “old” ways. Not to say it’s incorrect, but I can see how there needs to be a balance between harsh acts of self-denial and finding those “allies” that can help fuel the spiritual evolution that leads to — for lack of an appropriate word — the Almighty. 🙂


My shins are still sore >_< I need to dip my legs in a vat of Kool ‘n’ Fit ^_^

1 page 22 – Hays, E. M. (1995). The Ascent of the Mountain of God: Daily Reflections for the Journey of Lent. Leavenworth: Forest of Peace Publishing, Inc.

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