Notes from West London

Halfway through Lent

Today we are halfway through the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday (when it started) was 23 days ago and Easter Sunday (when it ends) is 23 days from now. What did you give up for Lent? My preferred answer these days, when asked that question, is “talking about it”. If you’ve given something up (booze, chocolates, wheat perhaps) or if you’ve taken on something new (more exercise, a daily donation to charity, maybe attending mass every day), there’s no need to tell everyone about it. That kind of defeats the purpose.

There are some resolutions that I made on Ash Wednesday and have managed to keep to. But I’m not going to tell you what they are right now. I’d rather wait and see if I can get to Easter Sunday first. My preference is to finish something and talk about it afterwards (if at all) rather than give a running commentary on something that I might never finish.

Instead, I’ll point you to a Menu item, here, about being a Catholic. This Blog is called “The Compartments”, and its purpose is, at least partly, to work out the kind of compartments my life is divided into. And if I manage that I’ll try and come to some conclusions about compartmentalization. As I wrote back in December:

There may be some rule about compartmentalizing your life. Maybe people who compartmentalize their lives are happier and more successful than people who don’t. Or maybe the trick is to avoid compartmentalizing your life. Or maybe the significant thing is the number and type of compartments in your life. Whichever it is, my life seems to be divided into compartments. Some of my friends, or my small circles of friends, know me for one or two things, for things that I do or used to do, and have no idea of the other things going on in my life.

Catholicism is a good example of this. There are people round here who know me because we have attended mass at the same time. There are plenty of people I’ve met over the years who would have no idea that I even go to mass. It’s something I did as a child, and haven’t stopped doing. “On Being a Catholic” offers at least two big reasons why.



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