Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lentblogging Day 2 - Irony

There must be a Department of Irony in Hell.

Bears have a highly developed sense of irony. They see it everywhere and enjoy satire. They know there will be no irony in Heaven, so they try to enjoy it as much as they can here.

Irony is a type of joyless humor - bitters for the soul. A good Sicilian digestivo like Amaro dell'Etna to help life in this fallen world go down. (Red Death thinks it tastes like cough syrup, but she doesn't even like the exquisite nectar of Jaegermeister).

This Lent is full of irony, because the Bear, with his Lenten Companion just out, struggles to follow his own (excellent, by the way) advice.

Just yesterday, he was thinking about the plan for his Tower of Lent (Luke 14:25-30). It may sound trivial, but regular daily habits are the foundation for for any kind of sound construction in our lives. It is very Benedictine. After all, the life of a Benedictine monk - and, to a lesser extent, oblate - revolves around the Liturgy of the Hours.

Ora et labora.

So, the Bear asked the woman who lives in the can on his nightstand to set an alarm for 8 a.m. Since he is an Owl, not a Lark, that would allow the Bear to get some good sleep and wake up in plenty of time for his ora, his lectio divina, then hit the screen for his labora.

Indeed, on the first day of Lent, yesterday, his faithful bedside companion awakened him with a pleasant sound. Step 1 of the Regular Daily Habits phase of his Master Plan worked! He flipped open his laptop in bed, just to take care of any new book orders and make sure advance buyers had received their PDFs to tide them over until he got the paperbacks to autograph and ship.

It is really a matter of putting God first- literally. The Bear would offer to God the first fruits of his day. There are all sorts of ways of putting God first. Saying Lauds first thing sanctifies time.

Three hours later...

Technically, it was still morning when he did Lauds. Even in his time zone. Nonetheless, he realizes he must add another step.

Step 2 - Get Out of Bed at Once.

It is hard for Bears to exchange bad, old habits for good, new ones. Could his very computer, his lifeline, his office, be used by the demon Neerciazhun of Sin? Construction delay on Bear's Tower of Lent. But, now, his plan has two steps: (1) Wake Up at 8 a.m. and (2) Get Out of Bed at Once. Maybe Bear should think about writing down a step after that. What could it be?

Oh, well, two steps is one more step than Bears usually think of. No sense in going crazy with this whole Lent thing.


  1. Bear - I don't want to sound too obvious, buuuuuuut - perhaps you should not keep your laptop in your bedroom. How about tucking it away in your office lair? Or you could even have Red Death lock it up somewhere until a certain time.

    1. Well, that's very practical advice. That is Lenting smart. We often set ourselves up to rely on sheer willpower rather than using our 450 gram brains to help us Lent well. The Bear shall keep his computer downstairs. His things are all upstairs, he that is where he works, but sometimes we may have to make significant changes in our habits in order not to fail the same ways.

  2. That tends to happen to me too if I open the computer just upon waking up...


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