Thursday, February 8, 2018


I've had these shoes forever.  The leather tops are splitting, there is a hole in one of the soles.  The backs are broken down from slipping them on and off without bothering with the shoes strings and the heels are worn to a terrible slant.  So I am giving them up for lent.  (My sister will be so glad.)

I've been holding on to them thinking that I might need them.  You never know.  I MIGHT need to be both semi-dressed up AND need to do something dirty at the same time - like dig a hole as part of a as of yet un-rediscovered Catholic ceremony not unlike Arbor Day.  So they sit there at the bottom of the shoe hierarchy awaiting their big day.  Which has not come for two years save for one time I wanted to make the point that I COULD still wear them walking the dog.

My life is full of this stuff.  I MIGHT need something.  Some day.  For Some thing.  And sometimes that is great.  "I've got one of those that has been sitting around for a long time!" is a wonderfully rewarding thing to be able to say.  Unfortunately it is usually followed by, "Now where did I see it last?"  And truthfully, it only happens about once a year.  The occasion to junk space allocation is not good.

So here is one of my Lenten resolves.  (Why isn't lent capitalized?)  Every day in lent I will give away one thing and discard one thing.  First on the list is this ratty pair of shoes (trash) and a pair of cufflinks (give away.)  I recommend this as part of your lenten practice.  It serves many purposes: un-cluttering your life - discerning what you really need - being aware of what you have - giving to others (charity) - becoming detached from things.

I have been chomping at the bit to get started but learned my lesson a few years ago when I tried this last.  The first 20 days - EASY.  The next 10 one had to be a little more discerning.  The last ten . . . OUCH!  (That's about 80 items!)  Now two things make it a little easier for me.  1st - we have a Good will truck on our property.  2nd - I am allowed to cheat a couple of times and walk over to the church a make a donation to the Poor Box as part of the give away.  But to do that too often is cheating and infringing on others works of charity for lent.

So I offer this to you as something to do for lent - give up your old shoes for lent.


Anonymous said...

Father, I love your idea of getting rid of one thing every day of Lent, and of giving away one thing every day as well. Very Franciscan. I am giving it a try. I suspect we will both be happier by Holy Saturday! God bless you and Fr. Simone and everyone at St. Sebastian! - Sue, ofs

MJ said...

Oh my - this is so me. The original pack rat. I'm either going to do this or The 40 Bags in 40 Days
Thanks for the suggestion. Bring on Lent!!

Louis said...

Am I allowed to come by and call dibs on stuff?