0 Lent (There's no such thing, but I'm tired of green)
Whoa. Jonathan Bennett at Ancient and Future Catholic Musings has offered us a reading plan for the Church Fathers over the Lenten period. This would be a great thing to take up, particularly if you've never read them before. Let me know if you decide to do it; maybe we can chat about the writings together (HT: Land of Hope and Glory).
For my own Lenten discipline - as I've said - I want to shift more into a "listening" posture. To that end, I'm determined to do the "contemplative prayer" thing with greater frequency, pray the office, and attempt to attend morning Mass three times each week. I'm also going to pick up Miroslav Volf's Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace. It's the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lenten book, and Bill Bean is selling it at a nice price, by the way.
I don't say this to sound "spiritual;" to paraphrase someone else, I require this practices because I am "unspiritual." I'm also a student, so I get to structure my time any way I wish. I think it's an appropriate practice to "waste" time with Jesus, anyway. I've also used some "soft language" in a very intentional fashion: I'm attempting these disciplines, not so I can say that I have done them, but for the sake of being with Jesus more and listening more. If I don't do everything I'd like in just the way I'd like, it's not the end of the world, and Jesus isn't going to get all upset. We shouldn't get all upset either, and we'd do well to remember that.
Praying the Office takes about 15 minutes twice a day, and 5-10 minutes in the evening. If you'd like suggestions on getting started, please ask.
You can find short, basic instruction on Centering Prayer here.
Bill has more information on Volf's book here.
So what's everybody else doing to keep a Holy Lent? Don't worry about sounding humble, you won't impress me (wink). What practices have you found helpful in the past? Will this be your first Lenten season? Do you choose not to keep it? Have a chat back at me.
Update: theological nitpicking: when I said "attend mass," I mean, "celebration of the mysteries" or "performance of the Eucharist." There, that's better. We don't watch it, we do it. I was getting all vexed in my righteous soul on that one.