Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, begins the season of Lent. I am planning to undertake a program provided by Exodus 90 specifically designed for Lent. It is not as rigorous as the Exodus 90 program as you are allowed warm showers, the consumption of alcohol, and watching of sporting events.
However, it is still requiring a bit of discipline.
- Abstain from desserts and sweets
- Abstain from eating between meals
- Abstain from soda or sweet drinks
- Get a full nights sleep (7 hours minimum)
- Practice Regular & intense exercise
- Abstain from video games
- Abstain from watching television, movies, or televised sports alone.
- Abstain from non-essential material purchases.
- Only listen to music that lifts the soul to God.
- Only use the computer for work, school, or essential tasks.
- Only use mobile devices for essential communications; cut out non-essential texting, app, and internet use.
- Take Wednesdays and Fridays as days of fasting.
A few personal observations, I don’t do soda and infrequently imbibe sweet drinks. I try to get 7:30 hours of sleep but don’t always succeed. I have closed my iWatch rings every day since I got the watch on Christmas Day 2020. I recently discovered through Twitter the Neumz app – a complete recording of all Gregorian Chant (7000+ hours). Yes, I do enjoy Gregorian Chant and have for decades. I am more strict in my Fasting than the Church prescribes at this time.
In addition to the ascetic aspects of the program it also involves daily prayer and my personal theme of the year-Fraternity. For more on Fraternity read Fratelli Tutti by Pope Francis. (Free online!)
Why, you may be asking am I doing this? I am not even sure the spiritual aspect is the primary reason for this endeavour. Mid life crisis? Mild depression? Pandemic Funk? Microbiome screwed up? Monkey brain on overdrive? Distraction and procrastination? My friends keep having strokes or dying? You could ball it up in one big messy lump but all of the above could be involved or none at all. It could be a Higher Power wanting me to have this mini spiritual journey. I just don’t know and who knows maybe I will find out in the next 40 days. Feel free to join me on this journey.
Also, on a more adventurous note I will be doing the BSA Wilderness First Aid training and going on a short Hike/Camp in March with my son’s BSA Troop.