So Ash Wednesday (for Priests, "Dirty Thumb Day") came and went, and so the Lenten season has begun. Like most other people, I began with great resolutions: spiritual, person, professional.
How's it been going for me? Nothing so stellar, yet.
But that's the thing with Lent: You can always start again. Lots of people make resolutions that, if they fall, have no intention of going back to it. Sort of a "Zero Tolerance Policy". Lent's not the Olympics: it's not about in what place you finish; it's about the fact that you finish.
Some things have already made me nuts (and these come from south of my locale - across the boundary line in another diocese, lest I be accused of "ratting out" my own diocesan brethren).
I hear a neighboring parish regularly has a Lenten parish penance service at which they give general absolution, and that many Catholics (amongst my parishioners) flock there to avoid individual confessions.
Some parishioners were telling me about a repast they attended after a funeral this past Friday (a Friday of Lent). They encountered a Deacon who was proudly consuming some chicken. When they asked him if a dispensation allowed them to eat meat on a Lenten Friday, this clergyman told them he could do it because he was "over the age" when he didn't have to follow the rules of abstaining from meat, and (checking them out) so could they. Someone needs to tell the Deacon that Canon Law says that being older than 59 can get you out of Lenten fasting, but that's all it gets you. Abstinence from meat, in Canon Law, is something for every Catholic 14 years and above. How long has he thought this way? How many people watched him eat meat and presumed, if a Deacon is doing it, they can do it as well? Would you accept your doctor or lawyer not knowing the rules? I don't know if he doesn't know the rules, or if he knows the rules and chose not to follow them. But either way, not good.
On another front: new bishops for Scranton and Ogdensburg today. I went to seminary with a few Ogdensburg guys, and the Scranton diocese borders part of my own diocese. God bless and sustain both bishops-elect.
That's all for now.