Lenten Attractions

After reading a few posts, the idea of Lent may have some appeal.

First, it might be a time to catch up on films I’ve missed (though these are the sorts of films that the missus and I usually watch on the holy day):

Almsgiving, prayer, fasting. “Into Great Silence” is German filmmaker Philip Gröning’s almost yearlong sojourn with the monks of the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps. It is a long film that challenges us to be silent and to contemplate the life of these monks who choose to live these qualities of Lent for 364 days a year. While some thought the film had no meaning, for those willing to take the time to stay awhile and watch, the film leaves a lasting impression on how to go into the woods, or the desert, and to live deliberately — alone, yet for others.

Or it could be a chance to drink more beer (didn’t see that one coming):

Seeing as beer has a long history as Lenten fare, I thought I would suggest five Bock style beers to sustain you during the long dark days until Easter.

Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock – Founded in the year 1050, the Weltenburger brewery is one of the oldest monastic breweries in the world. While it is sadly now a corporate operation, the brewery still makes a high quality Bock, which is no surprise when you’ve nearly 1,000 years to practice.

Salvator Doppel Bock – Salvator Doppel Bock is one of the first monastic Doppelbocks, brewed by the Paulaner brewery in Munich. This beer is dangerously good—it was once banned by the government because villagers complained that it was causing drinkers to become too lively.

La Trappe Bockbier – De Koningshoeven Brewery, commonly known as La Trappe, is a world-famous Trappist brewery founded in 1884. The brewery has grown heavily commercialized in recent years, but they still make an excellent Bock.

Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel – The Andeschser Doppelbock is considered by many to be one of the best Doppelbocks in the world. Brewed in Andeschs, Germany by the Benedictine Monks of St. Boniface, it is one of the few successful monastic breweries still owned by monks.

Weihenstephaner Korbinian – The Weihenstephan brewery is considered by many to be the oldest breweries in the world. Founded in the year 725 by St. Corbinian, Weihenstephan Abbey began brewing beer in the year 1040. The brewery is now owned by the state of Bavaria, but its Korbinian Doppelbock is one of the finest in the world.

But while cradles find ways to make Lent less restrictive, converts keep Lent real (call it late-winter cleaning):

However busy we are, there are always certain tasks that are more palatable to us than others. They tend to gravitate to the top of the to-do list. (Planting the garden. Yes! Let’s do it!) Meanwhile, the really hated chores keep getting pushed back. I can go a long time without finding time to clean the fridge, sort the closets or make the dental appointments.

The hated chores still need to be done sometime. Make Lent that time. Prepare for Easter by doing all the really unpleasant tasks on your list, in preparation for a season of pleasant (if still frantic) activity.

I get incredibly excited for Paschaltide knowing that that’s when I get to stop sorting closets and turn my attention to the yard instead. (I hate housework and love yard work. That’s just me.) I file insurance forms and eat the nasty stuff from the back of the freezer during Lent. Sometimes I really get crazy and wash the windows. I rarely get through everything I intend, but however far I get, the penitential to-doing is going to stop once Easter comes.

Yes, the basement does need attention, but I’ll stick with one day in seven and leave the chores for Saturday.

37 thoughts on “Lenten Attractions

  1. Like your last sentence, DGH.

    I love the readings during Lent. I love the readings during Advent too. Though no priest has yet read Luke as beautifully as Linus does.

    Lent reminds me more often that Jesus said it wasn’t what a man took in that defiled him but the thoughts and words that issue from his heart and mind.

    It also reminds me that Jesus said the Sabbath was made for Man and not man for the Sabbath. And that makes me think of my favorite verse: What is man, that though art mindful of him?


  2. Catholic Gentleman’s Quarterly is right about that La Trappe Bockbier, though, you know. But it’s also pricey… So, they avoid some Lenten hoops by drinking “liquid bread,” but what if that liquid bread $20 a bottle? Doesn’t sound like sacrifice to me. Wouldn’t you please God more with your moderation if you eschewed the liquid gold and just ate a 6 dollar steak already?


  3. Amish Ambush and I will be hitting our favorite pub tomorrow night (some goofy papist cultural holiday, or so I understand) sportin’ the orange. And remember, Guinness is fine because it was begun by prots, but you can do better. Sorry, Seanster. Bonus attraction at our pub is a Lando Calrissian lookalike bartender.


  4. “goofy papist cultural holiday”

    was just reading about that for something –
    “Maewyn Succat born, 387, Scotland; supposedly converted over 135,000 people, established 300 churches; St. Patrick’s Day more now about Irish nationalism and ethnicity than religion but still have take aways from the man and legends (clover, snakes); It is universally told that he was kidnapped and enslaved, then escaped and returned to the place of his slavery to spread the Gospel. His forgiveness and humility are inspiring. Legend says that he left his well-to-do family and the benefits due his position as a Bishop to become an itinerant preacher among the very people who had captured him. And, true or not, the story of how he compared the shamrock to the Trinity is a great example of meeting people where they are and explaining Christ in their own environment.”


  5. DG, the prot vs. cat whiskey debate is not settled.


    This is one of the myths we encounter all the time, since Bushmills is located in predominantly Protestant Northern Ireland, and Jameson is produced in the heavily Catholic Republic of Ireland. But “this couldn’t be any further from the truth,” McGarry says. For one, because there are only a few distilleries on the whole island, they trade casks. So your Bushmills may contain some Jameson-made whiskey. That’s not to mention that the current master distiller at Bushmills, Colum Egan, is Catholic, and that John Jameson, founder of his eponymous brand, was likely Protestant — and Scottish, for that matter.


  6. I’ve a 6’er of black IPA in the fridge, and tomorrow is just as good a reason as any to imbibe.

    FWIW, I only drink beer on days that end in “y.”


  7. You guys are making me lick my chops with all this talk of abbey ales. Unfortunately, they are no longer for me – I started an Atkins-like diet just before Thanksgiving and have largely abstained from carbs, sugars, and wheat in general. I’ve lost nearly 15 lbs. and various other inflammations have mostly disappeared. The maltose in beer is way off the glycemic index at about 110.


  8. George, whiskey has neither carbs nor sugar. So, being a health nut, it’s a regular part of my diet.


  9. George, weight watchers is your friend, go to meetings if you must. Take it from a recovering foodaholic.

    That said, kudos, man. It’s been Guiness in the fridge lately, glad I have the Unificatorio seal of approval (wink).


  10. CW, RE: whiskey – I knew quite a few SSPX types at the ‘Dale that would’ve stuck their fingers down their throats if they knew that.


  11. Food just interferes with a good whiskey.

    Then since the color we must wear is England’s cruel red
    Sure Ireland’s sons will never forget the blood that they have shed
    You may pull the shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod
    But ’twill take root and flourish there, though underfoot ’tis trod.
    When laws can stop the blades of grass for growing as they grow
    And when the leaves in summertime their verdure dare not show
    Then I will change the color too I wear in my caubeen*
    But ’til that day, please God, I’ll stick to Wearing of the Green


  12. MG – I never said I’m abstaining from all things alcoholic. Red wine, in particular, is high in resveratrol. And, you’re quite right, whisky has none of the food related problems (when consumed in moderation, of course).


  13. Having to drink bad beer or wine isn’t a sacrifice it’s punishing.

    When I go to Italy I like to pretend I know something about wine so I’ll bring to pranzo what I’ve been told is a good bottle. My relatives look at me like I’m nuts: thanks but this 5 gallon jug that cost me 2 Euros is better than yours. And they’re right.

    La buona volontà di il Unificatorio è una cosa bella, no?


  14. Jorge, MLD is probably erudite, worldly, and wise. I just use Google Translate.

    MLD, at cafes in France just order vin rouge ordinaire — a carafe is cheaper than a glass of varietal and still very good.


  15. Cw, your response was perfect. My Italian was never really great. Good enough and back in Italy one month I’m really moving along because it was my first language. I caught the il Unificatorio a couple of days ago but then I lost it and then there it was again today. It’s a classic.

    And I wasn’t kidding; the table wine in Italy is fantastic. If you get the chance every October or so in the countryside of Rome (Frascati is the name of the town) a white table wine is produced also called Frascati that’s really good. It’s not really dry but it’s not sweet so give it a try. And thanks for the tip on the French wine.

    Giorgio, I’ll break it down for you:

    MLD: The good will of Cw il Unificatorio is a beautiful thing, no?

    Cw il Unificatorio: Yes, it is beautiful! Long live the unification.


  16. I generally prefer Scotch, but Red Breast is an outstanding Irish whiskey. Not distributed everywhere, unfortunately.


  17. Hey! This Redbreast is $65 a bottle for the 12-year old stuff and it goes up from there to $250 for the 21-year old stuff! Are ye daft, man!?


  18. Capitalism always wins:

    For Christians, the Lenten season is a period of sacrifice and abstention. For the restaurant industry, however, it is an exciting time of opportunity.

    As customers seek out non-meat options for Friday dining, seafood restaurants are innovating their menus to meet the demand. Meanwhile, fast-food restaurants known primarily for their meat items are adding a little piscatorial punch to their own list of options.

    Carl’s Jr. is touting its “Redhook beer-battered cod-fish sandwich,” a creation that boasts Redhook Extra Special Bitter ale as one of its ingredients. The Long John Silver’s chain, whose sales during Lent can increase by as much as 40%, is featuring “Norway lobster bites.” Wendy’s and Arby’s are each offering a signature fish sandwich for a limited time, too.
    Rather than develop new Lenten options, some companies choose to highlight year-round meatless choices. Five Guys is pushing its grilled-cheese sandwich, while Blimpie is plugging its tuna-based menu items.


  19. And now Lent gives us a way to comfort Jesus:

    This is where the traditional Polish statue of “Chrystus Frasobliwy” becomes a great aid in meditating on Christ’s Passion and constantly reminds us of His sorrow and rejection. The statue depicts Christ bent over in contemplation and sorrow. He wears the crown of thorns and often holds a reed in His hand, reminding us of how He was mocked by the Roman soldiers. He awaits the crucifixion and is “sorrowful unto death.”

    This image beckons us to comfort Him and to allow Him to enter into our lives. It shows the humanity of Jesus and how He had human emotions and feelings. The statue reveals to us the rejection He felt, most especially the rejection He feels now each time we sin. For each time we sin we turn away from God and turn our backs from His sorrow.

    Yet, He is always there, waiting for us to turn towards Him and to accompany Him on His via dolorosa. Blessed Mother Teresa put it best when she said that Christ “thirsts” for our souls. Indeed, He thirsts for us and wants us to draw nearer to Him in His agony.

    Nicene Creed Alert! Christ is now seated at the Father’s right hand. The Way of Sorrow is so yesterday.


  20. Long John Silver’s is the seafood analog of White Castle hamburgers. Anyone eating there is doing more than just Lenten fasting; they’re into Ramadan-like self abuse.


  21. Mike Horton— Some (most of the Westminster divines) would eliminate (did eliminate) all Christian holidays, although they encouraged special days for thanksgiving. The Continental Reformed tradition did not do this, however, and continues the tradition of calling stated services on these special days. With respect to the regulative principle, it’s definitely a line-call and there are those on both sides of the issue who affirm the principle.



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