Friday, February 17, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 21)

1. I’m rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and it’s reminding me how long it’s been since I’ve read fiction. Now I sort of wished I had started with Book 1 and worked my way through the whole series.

2. On a related note, I’ve decided to read a lot more during Lent. I definitely want to slow down and cut down on the TV watching. I’m not setting any rules, goals, or reading lists, just telling myself to slow down.

3. I watched this video last night about how TV watching in the first years of life is making children hyperactive and risk-taking. It was pretty depressing. I watched quite a bit of TV when I was preschool age, but it was almost exclusively the slow-paced educational programming variety. Maybe that’s why I’m perfectly fine sitting through a three-hour evening class.

4. I’m giving chocolate up for Lent. And since I’ve gotten in the habit of having something chocolaty every evening, this is going to be difficult. But it’s hard not to do it when you realize it’s good for the body and soul.

5. It may be obvious that I have Lent on the brain, with Ash Wednesday next week. Honestly, it’s my favorite liturgical season. Advent probably would be if it weren’t hijacked by secular, material Christmas. But no one wants Lent, because it’s a downer, so those of us that recognize its importance get to keep it for ourselves.

6. I’m reminded of an Ash Wednesday three or four years ago. A friend and I had gone to the evening Ash Wednesday service at the Presbyterian church and then gone to the grocery store for our weekly grocery run. A Hispanic man came up to us, very excited to see that we had ashes. I couldn’t quite understand all he was saying, but it was clear that he was happy to have spotted other Catholics observing the holiday. I sort of explained we were Presbyterian, and he said it didn’t matter because we recognized the importance of Ash Wednesday, that we got it. It was a really sweet encounter, and made me sort of wish that we marked our faith on our foreheads more often.

7. On the other end of the spectrum is the large number of low-church Protestants who have no idea what Ash Wednesday or Lent is. They’ll ask why there is a mark on my head, and I’ll say Ash Wednesday, and they’ll give me a glazed expression, and I’ll start to explain Lent, and they’ll just say, “Oh” and try to change the subject as quickly as possible. It’s really frustrating, not that they don’t observe Lent, but that they don’t even know what it is. Maybe encounters like these happen to remind me to pray for people who don’t even know what they’re missing.

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  1. I love Lent, too! It always helps me center my heart back to Jesus. I find I am more prayerful and faithful during those days leading up to Easter.

    I have Lent on my mind, too! I am still trying to figure out what to give up, though my heart and my prayers seem to already know the answer. I just have to admit it out loud. It will require true sacrifice, but that's what it is all about, right?

  2. Lent is my favorite season, too. I always become more contemplative, introspective, and more aware of working on my spirituality.

    Just last summer I re-read all the Harry Potter books starting with one. I loved it!

  3. I totally love Lent. I'm the kind of pensive person to whom it appeals.