That 40-day solemn season of spiritual reflection leading up to Easter that traditionally involves prayer, penance, repentance of sins, alms giving, atonement and self-denial.
And it starts today.
For most folks, self-denial usually takes the form of giving up an action or a food -- a personal vice, if you will.
Some people give up Facebook. Some people give up chocolate. I gave up watching soap operas for Lent back in '93.
"So what are you giving up for Lent this year?" one of my grocery store coworkers asked me the other day as I finished gobbling down my second glazed donut of the morning.
Perhaps, being the first day of Lent and all, I should be totally honest here: It may have been my second donut of that particular morning, but it was like the 50th or 60th donut I had indulged in since I was supposed to give them up beginning New Year's Day.
As such, there was no need for me to attend last night's Lenten preparative, the Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper at the local United Methodist Church.
Apparently, judging by the tightness of my size (like I'm gonna print that) jeans, every workday for the past two months has been Fat Tuesday for this ol' gal.
Yes, sadly, "A Donut A Day" has been my battle cry this winter. The downside of working at a grocery store, I suppose...the bakery is always open.
In fact, I deny myself no naughty, albeit comforting, foodstuffs of late. Candy bars, cookies, honey roasted peanuts...
It's just so damn cold and dreary.
Oops, guess I won't be giving up swearing for Lent.
Anyway, considering my 40th high school class reunion is roughly but a year and three months away...
Donuts (and all their sugary, fiendish friends) it is.
Let us pray.