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My CRS Rice Bowl has arrived! Lent now feels official.

Every year our family looks forward to participating in the CRS Rice Bowl program, but for the past couple of years our local parish hasn’t made the cardboard bowls and accompanying calendar available to parishioners. So I have to get creative to get my Rice Bowl. One year I called CRS directly and had some shipped to our home in record time. This year I found a friend (Thanks, Theresa!) in a nearby parish and had her bring some Rice Bowls across county lines. Contraband Rice Bowls. That’s how we roll at the Poust House. Read more

You Can’t Fail Lent: 5 tips learned the hard way

My Lenten post over at HuffPost Religion:

Lent is one of those seasons that always begins with the best of intentions and rapidly goes downhill, at least that’s how it usually plays out for me. I plan to pray more, eat less, and find creative ways to make my favorite time in the Church year more meaningful. Unfortunately, the ashes hardly have time to settle into the wrinkles on my forehead before I’m feeling like I’ve already failed.

But Lent is a journey, not a pass-fail test. Trust me, if it were at all possible to fail Lent, I would have long ago been expelled from this spiritual school. Fortunately, the goal here is not a perfect score at the end of 40 days. In fact, let’s throw out the word “goal” and focus instead on practice — spiritual practice.

Here are five tips for shifting your Lenten journey from total spiritual makeover to subtle interior transformation:

Read more HERE.

 

A new twist on the Ash Wednesday #ashtag

If you scroll through Facebook or Twitter today (if you haven’t given up social media for Lent), you’ll find a minor debate on the blogosphere over whether Ash Wednesday selfies are appropriate or in direct opposition to today’s Gospel reading about not standing on street corners so everyone can see how holy you are. Of course, we could ask the same question about the very act of walking around in public with ashes on your forehead, with or without a selfie, but that’s a blog post for another day. As for Ash Wednesday selfies, my husband, Dennis, and I have come up with a really great twist on the current trend toward the #ashtag. (Updated to show our double selfie because what’s good for the students is good for the teachers!)

Read more

Holy Saturday: waiting in the shadows

Peter never really used to be one of my favorites from Scripture, but the older I get, the more beloved he becomes. He gives me comfort because I identify with him, especially lately. At this point in our faith story, Peter is locked away — afraid, ashamed, alone. He doubted, he denied, he ran away. Even before the crucifixion, he often seemed to get it wrong. Imagine for a moment that Jesus says to you, “Get behind me, Satan.” Yeah, that’s pretty bad. And yet Jesus saw fit to call him the “rock,” the one who would go on to lead his church, or, at that point, his band of disciples. Maybe, just maybe then, Jesus sees some shred of worth beneath my many failings, behind my own doubts and fears. Read more

April 2 Connecticut event: “You Can’t Fail Lent”

“You Can’t Fail Lent: Learning to see these 40 days as  journey, not a test.” That’s what I’ll be talking about on Wednesday, April 2, when I head to Darien, Conn., to speak to the Women’s Circle of St. Thomas More Parish. The event, which is open to the public, includes a brunch and will be held at the beautiful Convent of St. Birgitta, 4 Runkenhage Road, Darien.

I’m especially looking forward to this event because I get to spend the night at the convent, which overlooks the inlets of the Long Island Sound. I’ll try to post some pictures and spiritual reflections once I’m back.

If you would like to attend the event, please call Patty at St. Thomas More Parish at 203-655-3303. Tickets for the brunch are $40 per person.

 

We are love, we are one…

A little musical inspiration on this first friday of March and first friday of Lent. I love this song, and when I heard it again yesterday as I was driving kids all over town, it felt like the perfect Lenten meditation. Here’s “Nothing More” by The Alternate Routes:

We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More

Lent, Day 2: It’s not too late to tweak your plan

So we’re into our second day of Lent and maybe you’re already thinking whatever you planned for Lent could use a little boost or support. Maybe the fasting part of Ash Wednesday was fine but you felt lacking in the prayer department. It’s not too late to gather up some resources to keep things moving in the right direction or to find a new direction even now, after Lent has officially begun. No one said you can’t change the plan once you’ve started on the path. You can always change the plan, especially if you’re not feeling spiritually fed by what you’re doing. This isn’t about meeting some earthly marker but about growing closer to God. Read more

Fasting: A Lenten primer

This story originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor in 2010, which amazes me because it was years before I had even thought about writing Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God and yet I can hear the spark of that book within this story. But I digress. Perhaps you’d like to enjoy this post with a greasy burger or a big piece of chocolate cake while you still can.

By Mary DeTurris Poust

Fasting and abstinence were once staples of Catholic life. There was a time not so long ago when you could spot Catholics in a restaurant simply by looking at what was on their plates on a Wednesday or Friday. But, with changes in Church rules and individual mindsets, fasting slowly began to fall out of fashion. Today, in popular Catholic culture at least, fasting is often considered a quaint practice of days gone by, something that pales in comparison to doing charitable works. Read more

Foodie Friday: Mary’s quick and easy lentil soup

Looking for a meatless meal for tonight’s Lenten supper? Tired of pizza and fish fry? Here’s a hearty and satisfying lentil soup recipe that’a a favorite at our house, especially on a snowy winter day like today.  Read more