Ash Wednesday is fast approaching (just two weeks from tomorrow!), and Fr. Z has issued a little reminder and some strategies for figuring out what to give up and what practices to start. That part about not waiting until the Thursday until after Ash Wednesday? Pretty sure that was directed at me. I’m very prone to waiting, especially since that Wednesday itself is kind of a freebie as far as decision-making. Given that I have already deferred New Years resolutions until Lent, it seems more than slightly pathetic to end that three-month grace period without a plan.
Despite the scriptural advice not to let your right hand know what the left is doing, I think it’s preferable to have one “sacrifice buddy” for accountability. It’s so much easier to justify little slippages to myself – inevitably leading to a snowball of excuses and total capitulation – than it is to mumble excuses about how I didn’t get up for Mass because I was up late doing important stuff like shopping online and Pinteresting.
That said, I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing this year. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what St. Josemaria called the “heroic moment” (that is, the moment at which the alarm clock goes off and one must give up a warm bed to get up for the day) and thinking that I hit snooze far too many times. I was also struck by Simcha Fisher’s column today about training ourselves.
I’m wondering what I’M in training for? How do I spend most of my time? What skills am I developing, and what do I hope to do with those skills? Because the word “training” implies that there is some final contest, some ultimate test where I can show my hard-won skills.
I have a feeling that whatever I should be training for involves far less Facebook and TV, and more self-discipline and enrichment. Exactly what form that will take, I’m not sure yet, but I promise I’ll figure it out in two weeks or less.