Tuesday, February 20, 2007

and so it begins...

yep, today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, so forth... It's the "official" preparation or last gasp of over-indulgence before Lent begins tomorrow (except for those of you in Christian Orthodox Churches for whom Lent Began Sunday. I don't really have any plans to eat pazche (punch-kee), or celebrate Fasching Fest, I'll probably just over eat at lunch-time, I mean a guy's gotta be true to tradition, right??

Lent- I think a good Christian definition might go something like this: Lent is the season during which we walk in the steps of Jesus's in remembrance of his trials in the desert. We practice self-denial in an effort to find our way closer to God and God's Will for us.

That's all well and good, but what does Lent mean for this alcoholic and soon to be Catholic convert? I used to think Lent was about giving up something I really like, usually in an effort to rid myself of a bad habit (i.e.: chocolate, potato chips, fast food, smokes). And well, that's not entirely incorrect, but it leaves out the main reason and benefit (I believe) for giving something up. So much of what I do here on earth as a human separates me from God and God's Will for me. There are so many enticing things here on earth that are man made, or enticements of the flesh that it's easy to lose our way and walk further from that which truly gives us Strength and Purpose. So, we (I) celebrate Lent in a effort to find ways to become closer to God and His Will for us; ok, me... I don't believe Lent is some sort of morbid self-denial, veil of tears and misery. It's simply a way for me to spend an extended period of time (as Christ did) facing the trials of the world, without some of the potential harmful (even sinful?) creature comforts I've come to rely upon. Rather, without those earthly, material, human distractions, I can focus more clearly and earnestly upon my relationship with HP/God/JC.

As an alcoholic in recovery, I think this is a great time for me to re-commit to working the 12 Steps, most especially, 4-7. (sorry sponsees, here it comes, lol) So, as one of my Lenten practices this year, I intend to immerse myself in Step work, and commit myself to purging myself of some earthly "sludge" that's blocking my more complete immersion in the Sunlight of God's Spirit.

At the end of the Lenten season, I shall be Baptised and Confirmed into the Catholic Church. I shall also receive my 1st Holy Eucharist (Communion) among my spiritual community and family. I cannot think of a more appropriate excercise to prepare for such an event as a good, thorough spiritual housecleaning. However, since I shall be washed clean of sin through Baptism during Easter Vigil Mass, I had thought of hitting Vegas, maybe finding a girlfriend or two, etc. but it seems that perhaps those aren't the best ways to take advatage of my upcoming Gifts... (only kidding!!) I guess I shall never be rid of the self centered alkie/addict after all, huh?? he he!

Prayer for today...

JC/HP/God, I thank You for another day sober and clean. It is only with Your Guidance that I am able to live this life, free from the shackles of active alcoholism and drug addicition. I am grateful. I pray that I might be grateful enough for Your Gift that I might be willing to carry Your Word to others, that I might think of Your and others before I think of myself. I pray that I might use this upcoming Lenten season to rid myself of the material enticements of the flesh here on earth. I pray that my efforts to do this will result in my increased willingness to get to know You and Your Will for me. I pray that I have the self discipline, one day at a time to practice this spiritual cleasing. Please help me in my efforts to do so, and guide my thinking that I might grow closer to You through this process.

peace be with you all, enjoy Fat Tuesday!

7 comments:

Sylvia said...

I am ashamed. I was so immersed in other things that I forgot about lent. I will have to ask for forgiveness for that. Your post encouraged me start to think about what I will give up. Good Luck on your choice. You sound like a strong person and I have no doubt that you will succeed. (They need to put a spell checker on the comments thing, I cannot live without it. lol)

RUTH said...

thank you so much for leaving a comment on the cancer campaign. I'll pop back again and read more of your blog.

Lex-Sunshine said...

Happy Fat Tuesday and good luck with Lent!!!! When I was full on Catholic, I was never really good at it, but looking back, I think so much of my Alcoholism got in the way of my Catholicism, even though I hadn't had a drink yet - I had the ISMs!!! I figured you can actually read that and understand....... lol......

Congrats on being on the road to baptism and confirmation.... more will be releaved.....

Inmatez Wife said...

Congrats on the sacraments!! As a Catholic myself, I am still baffled by lent. I am not one to give up silly things, as so many Cathlics do. I love the idea of doing the steps. That is awesome. I may just have to take that one from you!!

Sober Chick said...

Most of my family are Catholics but I never saw them practice any of it. I saw it thru my friends (grew up in a Latin crowd). There is one person that is not related to me but I consider him to be family. He is a prime example of a good Catholic, and his heart and kindness are beautiful. He was the only family member (besides my mom, bro and aunt that helped me during my last drunk) that I told about all my self destructive behaviors.

What a big step, or should I say big many steps you are taking in regard to your spiritual beliefs. I just emailed you and hope to learn more of this journey you are venturing towards.

And a Big ole Hug and Muah!

NMAMFQLMSH said...

Wow! I'm impressed. Congratulations on taking the steps (sacraments) into a more spiritually world. I for one am a recovering Catholic too...lol. I'm glad you didn't go to Vegas....it's testing my recovery the first day I was there.
JJ

Spider63 said...

Connecting with your spirituality and Higher Power is great. Good to hear your message.