What a great word. Pronounced on-wee', it even sounds like what it means: listlesness, boredom, bleh.
On Day 12 of Lent, the Bear is experiencing ennui.
He has enough failures behind him to be a little discouraged, and that New Lent Smell has faded from his days. He senses the Noonday Devil has gotten a whiff of his ennui and may be on his trail.
In other words, Lent is starting to feel like the rest of the year. Bear bets it's pretty common around this time. Even the Bear in his Lenten Companion is fed up with Lent on Day 12.
How do you jumpstart Lent?
As always, it's best to stick to basics.
- Continue to work on your regular daily schedule with fixed times for prayer (maybe the Liturgy of the Hours, or at least a rosary).
- Don't forget grace before meals - and don't gorge at the Chinese Buffet like the Bear did today. (Many of us should worry about our stomach before our soul. They should definitely be introduced to each other instead of existing on two opposite Gnostic-type poles.)
- Try a cleansing fast until you really miss food.
- Whatever you gave up should be present enough to act as a frequent reminder.
- Bear's advice - you can take it or leave it - avoid a diet of scandal during Lent. Plenty of time to save the world after Easter. Raymond Arroyo will probably last at EWTN until then and the bishops are off doing their own thing beyond your influence, anyway.
- Don't skimp on your scripture readings - do the lectionary at a minimum and try to work up to a leisurely half-hour of real Bible study.
- Consider adding some classic spiritual reading (Interior Castle, Imitation of Christ, Rule of St. Benedict, etc.) A little goes a long way; we're looking for quality time, not trying to get through a book.
- It's hard to be Lenten if you're mired in some vice - time to get serious about practical measures you can take to minimize your exposure to temptation; not everything is "holy." One of the best things you can do is use that great big human brain to create a smart strategy. Does anyone not know what the Bear is talking about? If not, he'll be happy to explain.
- And don't forget your religious obligations. For some of us, it's harder than others, but this is a time we should be doing our best.
We still have three-quarters of Lent ahead of us, friends! Plenty of time to rededicate ourselves and get Bearish (in a good way) about it. And if you've stumbled, figure out why and make sure you stumble forward from self-knowledge gained.
(P.S. a few PayPal salmon tossed the Bear's way would help cover his out-of-pocket expense for this ephemeris. Donations decline when Bear provides boring articles like Lentblogging.)