Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mortified Musings - The Lenten Special

"A bit of cake with that sprouted grain bread, my lovely?"

Did you ever see a lassie,

Go this way and that way,

Go this way and that way,

Did you ever see a lassie,

Go this way and that?

   Well, you have now.

Lent has the strange knack of bringing out the worst in me. I have these great intentions that slowly but surely DIE as the season goes on. Think fasting, sprouted grain breads, green drinks, brussel sprouts - you know, all those things that taste nasty times two, but are good for you. That's how it starts.

(And, trust me, those foods TRULY mortify the senses. You'll have to grant me this one, folks. No fake mortification going on here. Hair shirts have nothing on certain green drinks. My senses are so mortified after they eat these things that the souls in purgatory are LEAPING into heaven. Yes, leaping.)

( Not that I've ever worn a specific hair shirt, mind you, but when you live in a house with shedding pets they are ALL hair shirts. )

It's tough to be human though. We like give in to ourselves a lot.

 (That "we" is that universal "we" which reads, "I like to give in to myself a lot". But I don't want to    be a post hog on a public blog so I am including you.)

Me, sailing through Lent. Note the brussel sprouts,
sprouted grain, and asparagus tips in the prow. 
I see beautiful mental pictures of myself breezing through Lent, sailing all the way to Easter... only to be caught with my hand in the cookie jar less than a week later.

In other words, instead of being led by love we (oops, sorry, there's that universal "we" again) are driven by our attachments. The mind wants to go one way, the body another:

"It's best not to have that right now."

"But I want it, I want it!"

So, you choose what you want instead of being guided by what's best. I do this all the time, only to regret it a few minutes later.

A common scenario 'round these here parts:

Gluttony moans, "Another piece of chocolate cake, my dear chubs?"

Reason, led by love, whispers, "No, you don't need that second slice. One's enough, two is overkill, my sweet."

Sweet? Who said sweet? My hand edges toward the platter...

"Hee, hee! She's going to blow Lent again!"

I pull back my hand as if it's been burned by Ole Dragonbreath, himself.


Too much information.

I know.

(I don't know WHAT made me bake cinnamon rolls for my daughter as a special treat this morning. I thought Will Power would be staying until Holy Saturday at least. He was certainly invited. But he vacated the premises without a word after that first batch came out of the oven. Hopefully, Grace didn't leave too.)

(Feel free to scroll down to other posts so I don't leave you with a bad taste in your mouth...)


  1. What is sprouted grain bread?

    I generally agree with what you say, Mary. Lent in my view is not meant to be a long 40 days punishment of self-beating and hairshirts. (I really can't get our dog's hair out from everything. He sheds his white hair everywhere and people now think I have a grey beard.)

    Anyway, back to seriousness. I don't think we are meant to punish ourselves for 40 days or so. It is OK to fast on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays, and abstain from meat. Also, if we can manage it we should stop something we like doing or having during Lent. (My mind boggles right now).

    I wish I could be serious without these interruptions in my mind. As I was saying, it is good if we can stop something we like. Personally, for Lent, I have stopped caring for everyone else. The priest tells me I just don't understand the message correctly.

    He said I should give up something like chocolates for 40 days and give the money saved to charity. Or stop alcoholic drinks, or whatever. Also cut down on watching TV or other such pleasures; although how I could save money on such pleasures baffles me again.

    Anyway, I finally came up with the ideal solution. I have stopped buying flowers and chocolates for my wife during Lent, and stopped taking her out for meals or the cinema. I'm saving a fortune I tell you. I wish Lent lasted more than 40 days.

    God bless.

  2. Hi Victor,
    It is bread made from sprouted grains instead of flour. I eat sprouted English Muffins quite often. Seriously. Even though I joked around in the post I really do eat them :) I bet they are better than those beetroot cakes you mentioned. Speaking of beetroot cakes, you better get that apron on if you stopped buying meals, chocolate, and flowers for Lent - I suspect you'll need it. Either that or you'll be doing plenty of involuntary fasting this Lent.

    Women today don't need hair shirts anyway - the current clothing trends are uncomfortable enough :)

    Thanks for the funny comment!

    1. We call it Granary Bread over here. Tastes very nice.

      God bless.

  3. Mary, I love your combination of seriousness and humor - they work so wonderfully together.

    And I didn't answer the questions. Because I'm obedient like that.

  4. Mary, you make me laugh! Thanks for being lighthearted and joyful, it's a rarity that makes life enjoyable!

  5. Hi Nancy, you have that same You didn't answer the question because you know the answers!

  6. Hi Anne, thank you for your comment! I think I HAVE to take a break from seriousness here and there otherwise I would get overwhelmed. Plus, we have to be able to laugh at our foibles. And I have plenty of those! I need these "humor breaks" :) Glad it made you laugh too! Sometimes I think that maybe I shouldn't poke fun at myself so much because I worry that it will take away from my serious posts but then I remember that "we are all in the same boat and all seasick" - GK Chesterton I think? I'll have to look it up. Thanks for posting that beautiful poem on your blog. I keep going back to it!

  7. Ha! I was supposed to limit my time to one hour on the internet, but I can hardly write one email in that time! My friends are long winded and so am I. My confessor thoroughly chastised me the other day. Here I am again. I have no shame! Well, maybe tomorrow I can start again! I love that you are making green drinks. You must stick a slice of banana in them. I don't add any icky powders to mine!

  8. Hi Monica,
    Lol. Yeah, the internet does that to people :) I have used the powders AND made my own. Apple slices help but I usually just hold my nose and guzzle them down as quickly as possible so I can't taste them. Funny thing though - I like the taste of wheat grass! I grow wheat grass and micro-greens when it's warm so I can have then on hand.

  9. Mary, you have obviously captured what many of us feel during Lent. What I always forget, is that one of the reasons "we" are supposed to give things up is to strip away some of the physical pleasures/distractions we have come accustomed to. Bishop Robert Barron recently did a homily about the desert and why Jesus went there for 40 days. He said the desert is probably the only place on earth where everything is stripped away. There is nothing else to distract you other than the few things you need to survive. It was the perfect place to get ready for His public mission.

    When I compare that to my poor attempt to "survive Lent", I am humbled to the Nth degree.

    Prayers for you this Lent! God Bless!

  10. Thank you, Michael - this is a great comment. I'm echoing your words "when I compare that to my poor attempt to survive Lent, I am humbled to the Nth degree". And maybe this humility is the whole point because humility is one of the greatest virtues.

    I appreciate the prayers and will pray for you as well!

  11. Oh my heavens!! You are so funny and profound at the same time! You have captured "certain green drinks" to a tee! You in the boat "sailing through lent" with all those sprouts and asparagus tips is hilarious. I will chuckle over this all through Lent! Thank you so much for your humor and honesty!! God bless....

  12. Hi Cynthia,
    Thanks for your comment! Have you ever tried the green drink "Perfect Food"? That one in particular makes me groan! I place a scoop in water and down it in one gulp because it's the only way I can stomach it. But it gives me energy! I sometimes make my own via the juicer or blender - those aren't as hard to swallow :)

  13. Yes, I have made lots of green-things drinks! Then I began adding all kinds of vegetables and colors! Strange and unworldly blends my son referred to as "Ork blood" and would have nothing to do with them!

  14. Ha! I'll have to tell my daughter about the "Ork blood" comment! She won't have anything to do with my "green concoctions" either! (This the kid who made the strangest green "stews" outside a few years back and would plead with me to taste them. Ugh!)