Ash Wednesday: The Passion
The Passion comes out next week on Ash Wednesday, but since I haven't seen the movie (nor did I receive an advance pastoral copy), I'm refusing comment. Instead, let's get some reflections on Ash Wednesday.
Foregoing any theological meanderings on whether or not we should take up spiritual practices for Lent, I'll simply confess that I am, and have. When I was nineteen I gave up Mountain Dew for Lent, a considerable feat. Mountain Dew was the only thing we kept in our college dorm room fridge at the time, and I would consume upwards of four cans a day, plus more soda at the caf. Over the years, I've tried giving up various things. This year, we're going meatless for Lent, and in a reverse of the normal Catholic pattern, our only meat will be fish on Friday's.
Which will make Friday celebratory rather than penitential, but oh well, this way we can partake of the Wisconsin tradition, Friday fish fry and cheese curds if you can stomach them.
I'm also reading Romano Guardini's "The Lord" during Lent. I can already tell it's an amazing reflection on the life of Christ, and more edifying than Gibson's movie. Unless pure graphicity trumps a story well told, aka the gospels.
Our congregation is doing the "What if all of St. John's read the same book", now better known as One Book One Church. We're reading Praying with Martin Luther. More on that later.
Finally, I've put out tracks published by the Society of the Holy Trinity on "Individual Confession for the Sake of the Absolution." They don't have copies of this trifold flyer available on their web site, but if you'd like a hard copy, just put a mailing address in the comments and I'll ship one off to you. If I get around to it, I might re-type it as an electronic file.