This Lent has begun for me with yesterday’s Ash Wednesday mass at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville. The modified fast and abstinence from meat which the Church still reqires of it adherents where I live combined with the ashes on my forehead and the foreheads of others helped to make the change into this season more palpable and real for me.
I am not going to write much about these things just now. This year has been a rather Lenten year in many ways over the last twelve months. So the sobering feeling is minimized when one was already in a grim mood. The events that made the carnival season a carnival season for me related a great deal to the success of the New Orleans Saints football team. That is not to to say I did not cut and buy king cakes, follow the Mardi Gras events at a distance and remeber previous seasons. But I did less than usual. My usual observances are not among the most extreme or even the large group of moderately active carnival participants. But Lent has come and brings all its associations of spirituality, seafood, a more somber Catholic liturgy and the slipping away of our Southern U.S. winter. I am really quite ready to think and emote along Lenten lines.
As a Catholic Christian my life is marked with moemories of many other Lents. These seasons define my religious identity over time far more than many other more notable and pronounced ceremonies and holidays somehow.
Whether in school, family or parish life — Lent has been important. Not all of my associations and memories are so clearly defined as Catholic experiences as those shown in these three images. But many countless experiences and are so very Catholic.
So I head into Lent. That is my only comment really in this post. A definitive transition. One thing I like about my religion and faith is that it provides some transitions.