Sunday, March 1, 2009
Realistically, I was not raised in the Catholic church. I was not baptized so I could not complete the process of confirmation and all of the other elements of being Catholic. But I was surrounded by Catholicism and it, of any organized religion, has been the most influential in my life. My father used to take me to church. When I was in college a group of us would go to church together. I had rosaries and photos of the Last Supper like every other Indian Catholic I knew. Those items are some of my most prized possessions, not just because of what they mean but more about who they came from. My kokum gave me those things along with my Bible and I keep them with me as much to be close to her as to remember the lessons she taught me. My Gramma Emma was a good Catholic who had great faith in prayer. I dont remember her ever talking to me about Lent. When I was in high school of friend of mine told me what she was giving up for Lent. It had never occurred to me to even consider participating in Lent. But I did and have every year since then. I dont participate in the services of Ash Wednesday and dont actually get crazy on Fat Tuesday. But as I have gotten older, I realized that all Lent is is a timeframe of sacrifice. Many tribal religions have incorporated elements of sacrifice into prayer--fasting, sweating, staying awake, piercing, markings and even cutting are all parts of sacrificing one's self for prayer....giving something to get something....so the idea of giving up something important to me for a period of time to encourage prayer seems instilled in me. I've never talked to my daughter about Lent. For some reason, even when she was very small, she didnt like church. So I never forced it, there are many things like Lent that I participate in alone and without sharing. The other day she came home and told me what she was giving up for Lent. I was a little surprised but took at as an opportunitty to talk about how it applies to our life and the bigger picture. Sometimes history repeats itself before we know its become history.