Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season.  "Lent", from an Old English word "lencten" meaning "spring", as was part of Father Raymundo's homily at last night's Mass.  Spring.  This was a new definition, a word that I had not connected with this season of penance, fasting and sacrifice.  But as Father continued, he defined the Spring that is Lent as the flourishing, or coming alive of plants and flowers, "even in the desert".  Wow, what a sight this created in my mind.  A desert filled with beautiful, flowering plants. And not just the cactus plant variety.

On a related note, my friend had emailed me, not about Lent or anything of a religious matter.  But was in regards to my previous email to her of my plans of migrating to Manitoba, Canada and then another email about a week later saying that we had changed plans (I may blog on this another time).  She wrote that it was an excellent idea (not to go to Manitoba), describing it as "snow country".  She likewise mentioned how she was getting tired of the cold weather and was eagerly awaiting spring.  Spring.  That word again.

Lent is not exactly a time that has been awaited.  Fasting and abstinence yesterday was quite an ordeal and many temptations throughout the day in the forms of meat, sweet desserts and the snacks that lay inside our food cabinet and refrigerator.  And this was just the start of Lent.  With my Benjo turning 8 last March 1 and growing more spiritually with each year, I introduced him to the sacrifices of Lent and told him that during Lent we usually try to give up something and gave him examples, like candies, softdrinks, chocolates, etc.  After thinking about this for awhile, he said he would give up softdrinks, which we do drink regularly.  To boost his initiative, I said I'd join him, so both of us will give up drinking softdrinks for 40 days.  After a few seconds of silence, he asked: " 'Di ba puwede 30 days na lang?"  Hehehe, tumatawad pa!  He wanted to shorten the Lenten season to 30 days :)  This made me laugh and I told him it had to be 40 days, 'cause this is the time that Jesus spent in the desert.  He smiled and agreed.  We'll see how our "fasting" from softdrinks goes.

This is a small sacrifice and I feel I must do more, give up more.  Clearing my system from softdrinks is a start and it will definitely be to our advantage.  It will clean our systems, clean it so that the plants may grow, the flowers may bloom, and Spring may truly come.  Happy Lenten season!  Happy Spring!