If I didn't know better, I'd say religion columnist Terry Mattingly was a fly on the wall at my RCIA class last week. He encapsulates my priest's discussion of Lent perfectly in his latest column, which includes this pop quiz:
During this holy season of penitence and reflection, America's 62 million Catholics are required to:Read his column for the answer.
(a) Go to confession.
(b) Abstain from meat and fast by eating only one full meal on Fridays.
(c) Pray and meditate on biblical accounts of the suffering and death of Jesus, including attending weekly Stations of the Cross rites or an extra Mass.
(d) Increase their efforts to help the needy through volunteer work and donations.
(e) Make a unique personal sacrifice, such as giving up sweets, coffee, soap operas or SportsCenter on ESPN.
(f) All of the above or some combination of the above, depending on the conscience of the individual Catholic.
(g) None of the above.
By the way, you know that thing about a "strict fast"? "Only one meal a day, with no meat or fish allowed ...[and] small amounts of food at two other times during the day," Mattingly writes.
Well, I got news for you cradle Catholics. That's not a strict fast.
This is a strict fast. Twenty-five hours' worth. Read it and weep.
Janjan, can I get a witness?