The National Catholic Review
A Catholic priest contemplates starting Lent on Wednesday

Over the weekend I came upon the headline “It’s Not Too Early to Start Thinking About Lent!” Dated Jan. 28, the article explained how Lent has a habit of just sneaking up on us, so better to take some time early to think about how we might invest ourselves in the season so we can fully enter in.

The thing is, this year it really is too early to start thinking about Lent. The liturgical season of Christmas just finished a month ago. And seriously, Catholic Church, we’ve barely got the decorations back in their boxes. My vacuum cleaner is still broken from trying to get rid of the tinsel. (Tinsel is the Christmas tree equivalent of the little shiny hearts and glitter star debris that your worst enemies—a.k.a. your grandmother—put in cards for you. There should be fines for using it. I would even be O.K. with jail time.)

Like families all around the world, my community members and I are also not yet talking again after the Christmas clean up. Yes, I did break the angel ornament that had been passed down for generations in one community member’s family, but that’s because it was more brittle than bird bones, and also it was so terrifying that I’m pretty sure it was made by a serial killer. There, I said it.

And don’t even get me started about the shots fired over the Christmas turkey. Truly, the idea that it’s just six weeks until we’ll have to sit through another lecture/hostage situation on Hillary/guns/who actually deserves “a real wedding” (a topic that by the way had nothing to do with one’s sexuality and everything to do with whether cousin Elaine is in fact “tramp-y”) is a nightmare I can’t even contemplate yet.

I get it, Catholic Church. I do. Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. That means Lent this year has to start this Wednesday.

But if the goal of the season is mortification, purgation and repentance, trust me, we are already there. And we have Uncle Bob’s food- and liquor-stained Christmas sweater to prove it.

So this year, how about you do true believers a solid. Let’s just cut to the Resurrection.


Lisa Weber | 2/9/2016 - 9:49pm

Lent always seems to arrive too soon after Christmas. On the other hand, it gives us all those weeks together of Ordinary Time after the Easter season. I have always liked that so much of the year, like so much of life, is ordinary time.

William Rydberg | 2/9/2016 - 10:07pm


William Rydberg | 2/9/2016 - 12:13pm

Sadly, your column may have outlasted Anne Rice's brief public return to The Church...

Thank you Jesus-God come in the flesh for the Season of Lent...

Matt Nannery | 2/9/2016 - 9:28pm

Anne is very happy that the movie of her book about Jesus' childhood will be released soon as "The Young Messiah." She's kinder and more faithful than many "good Catholics" and has a big heart.

William Rydberg | 2/9/2016 - 10:13pm

Matt: Forgive me sometimes those Wiki pages can be inaccurate. Last update said she now describes herself as a "Secular Humanist" and no longer identifies as a Catholic. So I thought that supernatural faith and the divine Trinity was out of her worldview. Since I always thought that the foundation of SH is materialism.

You are on the ground, I defer to your info...

Have a good Lent,

in Christ