It’s hard to find food for Fridays in Lent. Our family doesn’t eat fish at all. My son and I will enjoy a fish fry during Lent, but the rest of the family still needs to eat something so we’ll usually go with a pasta or pizza and my son and I will hit the church’s fish fry at least once. Cracker Barrel also at least once.
Last week was an off-pay week, so we were being frugal, and it was leftovers on the menu. The problem for me was that leftovers was pork loin. My daughter didn’t want the pork and decided to make eggs, so I asked her to make some eggs for me. I like my eggs well done scrambled.
She and I divided the leftover over white rice, which I microwaved. I added butter to mine with peas and a couple of leftover packets of duck sauce and then mixed in the hot scrambled eggs.
It was such a simple meal, and it was very satisfying and delicious. I feel like having it again sooner rather than later, although to be honest, tonight will probably be pizza.
What are all of you eating for your Lenten Fridays? And if you’re not observing Lent, what is your favorite simple but delicious go-to meal for a Friday night?
In honor of our common Irish heritage (today anyway), I thought I’d post some original art as well as photos from our very short visit to Dublin, Ireland a few years ago. The photo of the Celtic cross is from the historic landmark at Cranfield Church in Randalstown in Northern Ireland. I would note that we could not get into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin because you needed tickets which we did not have. That did not stop us from strolling the adjacent park and enjoying the blue sky and sunshine.
Yesterday as I began to look at the new week’s labyrinth I realized how important mass has been to me in more than a spiritual way. You’ll see the picture next Wednesday, but this is what I wrote yesterday morning:
“I do notice that the days I go to mass are filled with other things. Whether it’s errands or prayer or publishing/scheduling here. I am invigorated to do more. I also haven’t felt that for some time.” And in parentheses I added, “This is a busy week though.”
I know I’ve had to push myself to do some things since the fall, and it hasn’t been easy. Of courses, the pandemic hasn’t helped. Like, at all. October has always been an unsettling time for me. What should have been a fully joyous time led in a few short weeks to a devastating time and unconsciously I’ve held that uneasiness yearly. I only recognized it when it was brought up to me and I try to lessen the difficulties by being aware and looking inward. When my priest died this past October, let’s just say that did not help my spirit.
As I write this, I’ve only just realized that his death and my mother’s are exactly two months apart (seventeen years apart though). That’s some coincidence. Or something.
My parish church announced this weekend about the forthcoming appointment of our new pastor, and I didn’t realize the stress and anxiety that I’d held inside myself. The ease I feel now that the appointment is certain is palpable. I’m sure it helps that I am familiar with this new pastor, and I’m looking forward to my continued journey in the faith and the church. I do think that this news has had a positive effect on my spirit and may have given me the punch in the arm I needed to return to my previous level of interaction (in several parts of my life).
Just as it takes one thing to stop us in our tracks or put us off the path, sometimes all we need is that one little (or major) catalyst to jump start us. This was one of them.
I also have two workshops/lectures, one day of reflection, another class, an interfaith meeting, and preparing for a retreat at the end of the month, plus my oldest son’s twenty-fifth birthday. And I’ll be cooking three meals this week, which is a lot for me lately. (Real meals, not hot dogs or pasta. Possibly more on that Friday.)
Here, in the middle of this second week of Lent, I feel an optimism, a hope that my Lenten journey will continue to be meaningful and will set the path for the rest of the year after we mourn the Crucifixion and celebrate the Resurrection in the days and weeks to come.
Have a peaceful and blessed Lent. May the week land gently.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accesible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot
One week ago was World Book Day, although everyday is a good day to read a book. This is proved by the fact that this is one week late. Things happened, one of which was laziness, but not entirely. Last week was a particularly not great one, but nothing that can’t be overcome.
This is the list of books I read since last Monday. The ones with the asterisk are the ones that I completed before tonight (although most were not read entirely in seven days.)
Daily Reflections for Lent: Not By Bread Alone 2022 by Amy Ekeh and Thomas D. Stegman, SJ
Thirsty and You Gave Me Drink from Clear Faith Publishing, various authors
Quantum by Patricia Cornwell *
Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone by Rev. James Martin, SJ
Spin by Patricia Cornwell *
The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones, The NY Times Magazine *
The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
Never Tell by Selena Montgomery (Stacey Abrams) *
Search Me: A Way of the Cross in Solidarity with the LGBTQ Community by John T. Kyler *
Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside by Nick Offerman
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. –
My thought daily are with Ukraine, each morning and throughout the day checking on updates. My thoughts have also been with my parish (and selfishly myself if I’m being completely honest) as the search continues for a new pastor. I wrote a short reflection on Facebook a day or so ago, and I do feel a slight weight lifted as the parish trustees announced on Sunday our new incoming pastor (who will start at the end of April).
A friend described her feelings as “being at ease with the decision” and I would agree with that sentiment. I’m not anxious although it helps that I’m acquainted with the new (to us) pastor and looking forward to his ministry, but of course, my feelings are bittersweet. Fr. Jerry, my only priest so far in my journey would talk during his homilies at funerals as the bittersweetness of the Christian journey: we who are left behind are sad, but the one whose gone home is with Jesus and so how can we resent that.
I’ve written before about my struggle to move forward in my faith and my practices and I’m reminded of something else that Father Jerry so wisely said during funerals.
He has also talked about a life that’s not ended but changed, and I think with this new pastor announcement, I feel that my Catholic journey isn’t ended, but it has changed, and with this resolution, I may be able to be changed and follow this new path. I also feel more reflective things to say on this subject, but my words need a bit more study and discernment.
At the moment as I look around at my messy table and my busy calendar, I hope that I can spend some prayer and meditation time to get back on track for Lent. There are other challenges ahead, and I need to organize myself for them. It may be time for a list; a very, very long list.