For some it’s Passover and for others it’s Holy Week. For me it’s none of the above.
It wasn’t always that way. It used to be all about Lent. Ash Wednesday, the Lent sacrifice, the washing of my feet, the two-hour stations of the cross. I did all of it. The one thing about Lent that I never got was Don’t-eat-meat-Fridays. Ugh. What a stupid tradition.
Growing up Catholic and misinformed, I always thought it was because we were eating the flesh of Jesus. I’m serious. If we were supposed to believe that we eat him in the wafer, having him mysteriously appear in a Whopper wasn’t too far off. It was only until I was older that I was told that the meat was a sacrifice made by the wealthy. Well, much like everything else in the Catholic tradition, it doesn’t make sense in this century. Especially when there are 99 cent value meals that include delicious Jr. bacon burgers. That’s hardly a sacrifice for the wealthy.
Many years have passed since I’ve observed Lent. It equals the amount of years I haven’t practiced Catholicism. And, obviously, when you don’t practice something, you start forgetting the nuances, the traditions, the songs. There is no way I would know when to kneel, stand or sit now. It’s been too long.
Only, I’ve realized that by some twist of fate, I am once again observing Lent.
I realized it while writing my to-do list for tomorrow, which includes buying breakfast for my co-workers. Yes, I know, I’m adorable. I enjoy it. And my favorite breakfast food to bring is a box of pastelitos. Cuban-style pastelitos. That white box with a piece of scotch tape holding in all of the delicious smells and warmth. But, no, it’s not my act of giving that makes me observe Lent. It’s what happened when I mentioned that I would be bringing breakfast tomorrow. My announcement was met with immediate elation, but quickly followed by a collective squeal, “Don’t bring any Pastelitos de Carne!”