By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
Ash Wednesday is the kick-off to the Lenten season in the Roman Catholic Church. This year Ash Wednesday fell on February 13. On Mardi Gras, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, I tried to muster up enthusiasm for a New York strip steak, or at least a cheeseburger, preferably from Five Guys. However, on Mardi Gras, meat did little to entice my taste buds. Ergo, I feasted instead on roasted garbanzo beans, couscous, and broccoli.
At the 12:05 p.m. Mass on Ash Wednesday, I was the Reader for the two Epistles [one from the Prophet Joel; the other from Book 2 of the Corinthians, for those reading this blog with an inquiring mind]. As I finished reading from the Corinthians, suddenly, a Five Guys juicy cheeseburger with sautéed onions and mushrooms blazed across my mind. I tried to focus on Monsignor’s sermon about Lent not being necessarily about forsaking candy for 40 days, but about doing good deeds, a’ la` random acts of kindness.
While the advice was sound, I envisioned that charbroiled cheeseburger burning brightly before me on the marble altar railing. “Sacriligious!” I silently chastised myself to no avail. “Focus! Focus!” I mutely yelled to myself.
Fasting in-between meals on Ash Wednesday and on the Fridays during Lent has not been historically troublesome for me. In fact, fasting, instead of indulging in my daily grazing in-between meals, should decrease my waistline [which it usually does not].
My Lenten albatross remains abstinence from meat throughout the remaining Fridays of Lent. It is ironic because I rarely think about or crave meat; salmon and bay scallops, yes, pasta with seafood, yes, but meat in and of itself, no. I fear each Lenten Friday I will fixate on either a cheeseburger or a strip steak, which I do not crave on any other day during Lent, except for Ash Wednesday.
Sigh. It is going to be a long 40 day-road to Easter Sunday.
Ciao for now.