Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Differentiated Gender Techniques?

Everybody gets unsolicited e-mail, and when I get it, it is usually automatically sent to the "Spam" folder. This one (which I present to you below) came in the other day from an undisclosed source and somehow avoided detection by my spam filter. It speaks volumes to where we are as a people as regards our sense of identity (and our problems with grammar). We are so concerned with our outward appearances that we fail to see the changes that such concerns are creating  within us. It is a reflection of our desire to control our bodies and to claim ownership of this temporal form which I suggest might also be a reflection of our desire to control God. When I hear someone claim that they feel trapped in their body, or that the gender that they were physically given is not their "gender identity," I start to wonder where such thoughts will eventually lead. Perhaps it is what leads to the never ending quest for perfection, shape changing, or body mutilation, the futile attempt of which undoubtedly affects the underlying spiritual self.

As you read the following flyer for an upcoming "medical" conference, please note the concluding invitation "to learn, network and establish fellowship with the best of breeds". I guess that means that neither you nor I would be welcome.

A High Impact Event by AAAM International
At Gender Aesthetic Medicine Congress Asia 2013 The aesthetic world’s most sought after masters will be sharing with you their expertise in female and male aesthetic procedures’ tricks and techniques
Let Prof Dr Pierrre Fournier World Renowned Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon, Godfather of Thread from Franceshow you the sightseeing tour of the face and neck. Immerse in his famous lecture on Semiology of the Human Beauty. And that’s not it, Prof Dr Fournier will be teaching fellow delegates How to enhance the forehead WITHOUT using botulinum toxin.
Dr Alfredo Hoyos, inventor of Vaser Hi-Definition for Liposculpture from Columbia will show you The Do’s and Don’ts for Liposuction in Women and Men
Learn about Autologous Fat Transfer for Facial, breast and butt enhancement from world famousDr Giovanni Botti, Plastic Surgeon, Villa Bella Clinic, Italy
Dr Alessio Redaelli, Board Editor of Journal of Clinical Dermatology – San Lucas Medical, European Society for Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dermatology from Italy will demonstrate how to accentuate eyebrow in Asian women to achieve a sexy arched look + how to raise a droopy eyebrow in Asian men to create an open and alert expression.
A popular procedure for the Asian Women: Redefining masseters will be taught by Prof. ZoeDraelos, Dermatologist and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology; Board Advisor, Nu Skin of the USA
Don’t miss out special session on Unique ethnic consideration in hair restoration for Women & Men inHong Kong’s Leading Hair Transplantation Surgeon, Dr Bertram Ng’s lecture
Click here to see THE GOOD STUFF!
Sign yourself up and bring a colleague. No other conferences bring in iconic speakers in one event like we do. Because as American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, we are responsible for educating doctors what’s the best and latest technique out there.Register NOW so you can be involved at this gathering of great minds & world renowned experts!
Enter promocode“JAN10OFF” to receive a 10% off now! .
We would like to invite you to learn, network and establish fellowship with the best of breeds.

I sure hope my spam filter catches the flyer for "Undifferentiated Gender Techniques" before it hits my inbox.

Addendum: Nope, the Spam filter failed again. I just got an updated flyer, and some of the grammar has been corrected, and more speakers have been listed. I for one can't wait to hear about,

Dr Rungsima Wanitphakdeedecha

Get the Passports up to date and sign me up!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Maybe Pharisees Weren't All That Bad

Or at least that is the impression I got from the first sentence in today's Gospel reading from Luke 13:31-35,
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” ’
Those Pharisees appear to be looking out for Jesus. Of course, they might have just been wanting Jesus to leave town because he was getting under their skin, but that might be my predjudice speaking. I must admit that when I was growing up, Pharisees got a bad rap, and things haven't really changed much for the better since "pharisaical" is still considered a pejorative term. Merriam-Webster on-line defines it as,
"marked by hypocritical censorious self-righteousness."
This probably comes from the picture painted in Matthew 23:1-7
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practise what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have people call them rabbi."
Kinda hard to defend those particular Pharisees, but maybe they weren't all that bad. Who knows, some day broad phylacteries might come back into fashion.

or maybe not...

On second thought, I wonder if Matthew 23 might say something about our own peculiar forms of religious fashion.

Do not do as they do... for they make their miters bright and their cassocks long so that people might call them bishop...

For more discussion, check out Ken Collins' page: "Jesus Endorses the Pharisees" or from a Mormon perspective, Donna Neilsen's "The Good Pharisees" at "Connections".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What Do Episcopalians Believe? No... What Do They Really, Really, All of Them, Believe?

Our diocese has a "Task Force on Unity" whose work appears to be doomed due to the lack of agreement on just what is really, really, really commonly believed in the Episcopal Church in Upper South Carolina. For a picture of the degrees of disagreement on some of these beliefs, I refer back to the last survey (found here) done in our diocese prior to the election of Bishop Waldo. Since that time, it appears that the portrait of a conservative diocese has been relegated to the basement of the museum, and the art nouveau of the progressive church has been hung in its place. Former members of several of our parishes are saddened at the changes in the diocese (personal communications), and they are perplexed at how a once unified church has fallen apart.

One response I have heard from sources within our diocese is that without the assurance of a common belief, especially in regards to doctrine and theology, there can be no Unity. Other voices from outside the diocese echo this idea.

"We can no longer rely on the strength of our beliefs because no one is quite sure what it is we believe. We resort to coercion rather than persuasion to enforce our will on others. The Dennis Canon has become just another method to enforce compliance in a community that is marked by a predatory opportunism." Ladson F. Mills III

Reading the Rev'd Mills' words the other day led me to ponder, "If a hypothetical average Episcopalian pewsitter were to write out what the Episcopal church believes, what would it look like?"

Images of a blank page came to mind.

Then I began to seriously think about a few things most Christians would consider core beliefs, and if there were any things that all Episcopalians were really, really, really sure about and really, really, really believe. I concluded that the physical resurrection of Jesus is something that (considering the widespread acceptance of the writings of John Shelby Spong and Marcus Borg) not all Episcopalians are really, really, really sure about. Likewise scratch the virgin birth off the list as well as the miraculous healings, walking on water, casting out of demons, Old Testament prophesies, Articles of Religion, etc.

So what are we left with? Here are a few that I came up with.

1. Crucifixion: We are quite sure that a man called Jesus was crucified.
2. Baptism: We are quite sure that we have been baptised because our mothers told us so.
    2a. We are quite sure that we don't need to be baptised again.
3. Omniscience: We are quite sure that our priest knows when we are in the hospital.
4. Reason: We are quite sure that we do not check our brains at the door of the church.
5. Priesthood: We are quite sure that we are entitled to at least a few moments of the rector's undivided personal attention each Sunday.
6. Confirmation: We are quite sure that a Bishop does the confirmations.
7. Blessings: We are quite sure that most things can be blessed if you desire them to be blessed.
8. Music: We are quite sure that the numbers on the Hymn board should match what the organist plays.
9. Coffee Hour: We are quite sure that this very, very important.
10. Daydreaming: We are quite sure that we will daydream during the sermon.
11. Pew Position: We are quite sure which pew we will sit in next Sunday.
12. Pentecost: We are quite sure that one really ought to wear red on Pentecost.
13. Justice: We are quite sure that our mission is justice (for a definition see the Revisionist Dictionary).

There is a longer list of things that most Episcopalians think they are sure about, and a more lengthy list of things that many Episcopalians think they believe (such as "The Episcopal church is relevant), and a endless list that some Episcopalians might believe, but that was not the point of this exercise. The point is something our bishop is after, and that is "Unity" which he implies is being together in relationship and "mission" in spite of our differences in doctrinal beliefs.

I am afraid that that as far as doctine goes, Ladson Mills in the above quotation nails it on the head when he writes, "no one is quite sure what it is we believe."

Hey, if it is unity we are after, then let's talk unity and stick with the following statement: 

"Think how He was manifested—God manifest in the flesh—to be a Surety for sinners. Made sin for us, although He knew no sin,—made a curse for us. Oh, if I could declare Him unto you, you might have fellowship with apostles, and with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things will we write unto you, that your joy may be full.

Other joys do not fill the heart. But to know the Lord Jesus as our Surety, satisfies the soul; it brings the soul unto rest under the eye of our pardoning God. I met the other day with a thought which has filled my heart often since. It is intended to explain that wonderful verse, John 14:18, 'I will not leave you orphans—I will come to you.'" Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne (Edinburgh; London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1894), 245-247.

h/t Tolle Lege

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Identity Theft

Today's service for the first Sunday in Lent was for the few, the penitent, the brave souls who crossed the icy roads of Rock Hill's first snowfall of the winter to participate in the Great Litany and to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus at the Eucharist.

After hearing Luke's account of the temptations of Christ in Luke 4:1-13, today's sermon focused on identity theft and how the devil might be imagined as attempting to rob Jesus of His identity as the Son of God - something like how our priest's friend had her identity stolen by an on-line hacker.

I was more taken by the devil's crafty way of framing his third temptation.

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.” ’

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written,
“Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.” ’
Jesus responds to each temptation with "It is written" and a quotation from the Word. The devil, then attempts to use Jesus' method and twists scripture for his ends,
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you,
to protect you”,
“On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’
Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
This is a device the devil uses all the time, using scripture to work an opposite purpose from which it is intended. For his purpose is to steal our souls, and the best way to take one of God's children is to revise the teachings found in the Bible so that we take the wrong path, the path that leads us away from faith in Jesus. (Note: When anyone says the Church "needs to be more relevant" the words the devil is whispering are the same as "Behold all these kingdoms can be yours.")

Look at the confusion people have over what it means to be "Catholic", "Anglican", or "Episcopal". It falls back on this question of identity. Witness also the problems in South Carolina with the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina fighting to maintain and establish their identities.

The Anglican Curmudgeon presented an illustration of how the Episcopal Church has lost its identity by straying from its founding principles in yesterday's post, "Adrift at Sea, without Rudder or Compass" One of those ideas was this,
"That no Powers be delegated to a general ecclesiastical Government, except such as cannot conveniently be exercised by the Clergy and Vestries in their respective Congregations."
Somewhere along the line, the temptation to hold authority over earthly kingdoms became to0 great for the Episcopal church, and we have the litgating, controlling monster that we see today.

TEc's Anglican identity was not so much lost as it was stolen. The authority of Scripture was first questioned, then discarded. The Virgin birth became a myth, the Resurrection became a metaphor, The Articles of Religion were relegated to fine print of historical interest only. We are borne aloft and kept from falling, they claim, by virtue of having been baptised. But when the meaning of everything else has been taken away, just what does that baptism mean? In the South we have a saying, "I guess it didn't take" when someone, once baptised, lapses. The great thief has done his job.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Task Force on Marriage, ,Task Force to Sodom, +Waldo Signs On to the Horror.

This is really, really horrible folks. It is a sick, sick Valentine's Day release from TEc.
Presiding Bishop, President of House of Deputies announce 12-member Task Force on the Study of Marriage

The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have announced the 12 members of the church’s new Task Force on the Study of Marriage.

Approved at the 77th General Convention in July 2012, Resolution A050 called for the creation of a task force of “theologians, liturgists, pastors, and educators to identify and explore biblical, theological, historical, liturgical, and canonical dimensions of marriage.” The group is expected to consult broadly across the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, develop tools for theological reflection and discussion, and make a report to the 78th General Convention in 2015.

“The theology of marriage has evolved over time, with biblical examples including polygamy, concubinage, and other forms of relationship no longer sanctioned in The Episcopal Church,” noted Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. “We no longer expect that one partner promise to obey the other, that parents give away their children to be married, or that childbearing is the chief purpose of marriage. This task force is charged not only to take the pulse of our current theological understanding of the meaning of marriage, but to assist the faithful in conversation and discernment about marriage, in particular what the Church might hold up as “holy example” of the love between Christ and his Church.”

“The Episcopal Church's theology and practice of marriage has changed significantly over the centuries, and we need to understand more clearly what we as a church mean when we use that word,” President Jennings said. “I am grateful to the twelve leaders who have offered their time and expertise to help the church have a wide-ranging discussion about marriage and respond to the issues raised by the marriage debate in civil society.”

The members of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage are:

The Rev. Brian C. Taylor, chair, Diocese of the Rio Grande

Carolyn M. Chilton, Diocese of Virginia

The Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely, Diocese of Vermont

Joan Geiszler-Ludlum, Diocese of East Carolina

The Rev. Gail Greenwell, Diocese of Kansas

The Rev. Tobias S. Haller, Diocese of New York

The Rev. Canon W. (Will) H. Mebane, Jr., Diocese of Ohio

The Rev. J. David Knight, Diocese of Mississippi

The Rev. Dr. Cameron E. Partridge, Diocese of Massachusetts

The Rev. Susan Russell, Diocese of Los Angeles

The Very Rev. Dr. Sylvia A. Sweeney, Diocese of Los Angeles

The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, Diocese of Upper South Carolina

Resolution A050 is available in full here.

The P.B.'s statement defies description. I am left shaking my head in disbelief that a Church leader would utter such nonsense.

In case any of you don't know this, but the Rev. Susan Russell is an expert on marriage by virtue of being both an Episcopal priest and a gay activist from Pasadena CA. "A past-president of Integrity USA – the 30-year old national Episcopal gay caucus -- she is currently the convener of 'Claiming the Blessing:' a national collaborative ministry focused on the full inclusion of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender baptized into the Episcopal Church." (HuffPo)

Our Bishop Waldo is also an expert on marriage having recently sacrificed marriage on the altar of same sex blessings.

Is there any question as to what the findings of the task force will be?

I think it will find us all headed to Sodom.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Broken Dioceses: Duct Tape Meets Its Match?

I saw a recent story on yet another use for duct tape. What was it used for? To restrain unruly airline passengers of course (See story and picture here) .

I wonder why the airline had duct tape on board in the first place. In case the wings started to fall off?

Do you think the Church has a closet full of the stuff somewhere just in case?

As the reactions to the recent announcement by the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi to allow same-sex blessings in his diocese ripple out into the ether, I wonder if Bishop Gray is hoping to hold Mississippi together with duct tape because he can't do it on the basis of scriptural and moral authority any longer. It appears that he has gone back on his word to the orthodox to not permit same-sex blessings in the Diocese of Mississippi.

We Episcopalians in Upper South Carolina will not have to worry about feeling betrayed by our Bishop Waldo when he starts permitting the blessed sacrament of same sex intercourse to take place in his temples. Bishop Waldo has made it clear that this is what he wants, and what an Episcopal Bishop wants, he or she gets as long as it does not go against the Zeitgeist.

The failure of our Episcopal bishops is the failure of all who look to someone or something other than the living God for healing and unity. We see this reflected in an event in the life of Jesus described in the optional part of last Sunday's Gospel reading,
"On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, ‘Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.’ Jesus answered, ‘You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.’ While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God..." Luke 9:(37-43a)

This section, at first reading, may sound harsh and condemning because we have grown accustomed to an image of Jesus as loving Good Shepherd, and, as a consequence, we respond negatively to any image of Jesus the Judge. I am reminded that even a good shepherd comes armed with a crook. Plus, He saves his sternest warnings for the ones He loves the most. We should also remember that at this point the disciples had not been armed with the Holy Spirit, and later in the Acts of the Apostles we will witness many healings on the part of the Apostles, but it must also be remembered that these healings are done in the Name of Jesus. The people in Luke 9 appear to be asking the un-empowered disciples to do this thing on their own, and not necessarily in Jesus' name, and they quite rightly get called out for it.

In thinking about this section of Luke's Gospel, our priests and bishops might find themselves humbly remembering their un-empowered state when trying to solve our earthly problems with duct tape of their own making.

We lay people also must eat humble pie since we are guilty of not looking to Jesus when we should know that He is alive and present even to this day.

When your Diocese of Humpty Dumpty falls, who will you blame, and who will you look for to put it together again?
There are some things that even duct tape can't do.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Concealed Carry Classes at Local Church Fully Booked

The following story was on our local TV news broadcast tonight. The local "pistol packing pastor" of Tri-city Baptist Church in Conover was on the news talking about an interesting Christian Education/Faith Formation class they were offering.
"A Conover church is standing by its decision to offer a concealed weapons permit class. Classes begin in March, and so far the response has been overwhelming. The announcement was made on the church bulletin several weeks ago, and to date, 58 men and 52 women have signed up for the class which is limited to 40."
“This is not a publicity stunt,” says Senior Pastor Dr. Ruffin Snow. “Our church’s purpose is not to arm people except with the gospel...
..."It's not a matter of whether I love my neighbor, but that doesn't mean we are not to protect our families, so I don't see any contradiction whatsoever.” See the full story by BORA KIM / NBC Charlotte at CNBC Charlotte.
For some reason I don't think anyone will be seeing concealed weapons classes being sponsored by their local Episcopal church...ever.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Patience, Patience

Today we celebrated The Presentation of Jesus, and our sermon focused on the patience of Simeon and the prophet Hanna as told in Luke 2:22-40.
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.’

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

There was also a prophet, Anna (Hanna) the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child (him) to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

Sometimes I think that the loud minority of "fixers" could use a dose or two of the patience of Simeon and Hanna. Patience is one of those old virtues that doesn't have a prayer of surviving in today's mad rush to get the latest new gadget, new app, or new issue on the table.

Ten years have gone by since the election of the Episcopal church's first openly gay, non-celibate, divorced male bishop. That was the issue that had to be rushed to the table at the time. The "fixers" were demanding "Justice!", and they were quick to push forward whatever votes or resolutions were needed while the fire was hot. Many of my friends left the church at that point. After much prayer, I felt called to stay and to be patient. Patience in difficult circumstances is not something that I would have asked for, but I believe that the extra time to observe, to listen, to study, and to confront, was what I needed, and I am thankful to the Lord for giving me these ten years.

As to what the future will bring, I can only pray to be delivered safely into His arms at the last, and until then I will pray for guidance.

Just this week in my prayers I heard a response that I did not desire. It came as two words: "Study more". I, like most, never did like to study. Serious study is hard work. Such study requires discipline. I have done it for extended periods in the past, and I can't say that I enjoyed the process, but the fruits of that labor have been great. Part of me responded to those two words "Study more" with a sarcastic, "Thanks alot." The other side of me said, "Maybe it is time to double down."

As our priest announced the upcoming Lenten programs would include a session on Buddhism during the "Faith Formation" (formerly known as "Christian Education") hour on Feb. 17, I could but shake my head and think, "Here we go again."

Today, in my inbox I received the following, and I had to think of the patience of Simeon as I read it,
“God’s children, should pray. You should cry day and night unto God. God hears every one of your cries, in the busy hour of the daytime, and in the lonely watches of the night. He treasures them up from day-to-day; soon the full answer will come down: ‘He will answer speedily.’

Christ never loses one believing prayer. The prayers of every believer, from Abel to the present day, He heaps upon the altar, from which they are continually ascending before His Father and our Father; and when the altar can hold no more, the full, the eternal answer will come down.

Do not be discouraged, dearly beloved, because God bears long with you—because He does not seem to answer your prayers. Your prayers are not lost. When the merchant sends his ships to distant shores, he does not expect them to come back richly laden in a single day: he has long patience.

'It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.' Perhaps your prayers will come back, like the ships of the merchant, all the more heavily laden with blessings, because of the delay.”

--Robert Murray M'Cheyne, "Fourth Pastoral Letter: Edinburgh, February 20, 1839" in Robert Murray M'Cheyne and Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne (Edinburgh; London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1894), 193-194. h/t Tolle Lege

I think that is an excellent preparation for Lent.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23 King James Version (KJV)