Saturday, March 03, 2007

Our women's group at church is hosting soup suppers for lent this year. This week I walk in with my large pot of soup - Lip Smackin' Lentil ( a variation of a Mollie Katzen soup from one of my many Moosewood cookbooks. I have to admit that I do have a private little chuckle because many of the older ladies bemoan trying to find meatless soup recipes for lent. But for someone who was vegetarian for 10 years it is more a fond trip down memory lane than an act of penance or mortification. Now abstaining from all refined sugar and chocolate - there's mortification for you (well at least for me and mine - she says thinking back to earlier that afternoon and the wails of the seven-year old on being told that - no, lent is not over - we're having pretzels for snack. How on earth did these children come to expect a sweet snack *every* afternoon?)

There are many soups to choose from - almost too many! The compliments begin to fly and there is already talk of a cookbook. The smells and warmth of good soup can only relax and sooth after a long week. Conversation and laughter further set a cheerful tone.

After soup we walk into the church and experience a sightly different mood - silence - blessed silence - which is hard to find even at church - a hello here and there - a bit of chit chat behind you. Silence is a rare and wondrous thing in these times I have found - especially for a homeschooling mother! The songs unaccompanied by music are a further treat - there is something so moving about a large group of people simply singing. Then comes the chanting of evening prayer, the incense, Benediction, and Stations of the Cross. The whole evening is like a healing salve after confronting my inner most demons all week - it just naturally seems to happen that whatever virtue I choose to seriously work on completely eludes me and those things that I really want rid myself of coming bubbling out to the surface.

My two girls (12 and 10) also came this week with a just a bit of reluctance (feeling a little tired) but they both had a refreshed look about them afterward and were glad they came. See what a little good food for the body and soul can do!

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