Monday, 25 March 2013

The end is nigh

The end of Lent is within sight and, taking stock of my penances and mortifications I find that I have not progressed much further than the 'soft' options.

The ones lambasted by Fr J in his first Lenten sermon.

I cannot quote him word for word but the essence was that giving up chocolate and strong drink is not exactly penitential.

Yet that was what I did; I refrained from eating chocolate and imbibing beer and alcohol of all kinds. I also resolved (successfully) to ramp up my daily prayer routine and I fasted a bit.

That, basically, was it.

In my defence I plead a weak will and a lifestyle that should, by rights be sedentary and serene but, in actuality, is a manic mix of work, family and desperate DIYing on a property that, at times, seems to be falling down about our ears (why ears for goodness sake?).

That is probably the same for most of us but, nevertheless, Sunday will bring a special glow over and above the glory of the Resurrection.

Priority will have to go to a pint or two (but no more than that) of the Reverend James. A draught bitter that is, according to the Scribe of Jarrow, too sweet for manly Northerners but it suits my adolescent, softie, Southern palate.


But that can only come after we drive our grindingly boring 70 plus miles to Mass.
With a 3pm Mass the day is basically gone, you cannot do much beforehand and very little afterwards, except, perhaps, drink a glass or two of the amber liquid.


  1. I have drunk beer in every county of England and most counties of Wales and can vouch for the fact that The Rev. James is one of the best bitters available. North-eastern beers (and as an alumnus of Durham University I know what I'm talking about) tend to be under-hopped (therefore sweet) and under-strength, since they were traditionally drunk in vast quantities by industrial workers.

    A couple of years ago I was in what I call Ratisbon but most refer to as Regensburg, and after High Mass at the famous cathedral with its wonderful choir, repaired to a beer terrace over the Danube and drank the Maibock beer from the brewery next door. The nearest thing to heaven in this world.

  2. Through the mercy of God I was permitted to make a profession of Faith in 1966. EVERY YEAR since then I have heard Catholics advise me that Lent is not about giving up things. As a poor ignorant convert I wish to be enlightened -- at what point in history were Catholics told that Lent IS about giving up things? It sure seems to have stuck with 'em.

  3. Having given up alcohol for lent, it was a pleasure to have two pints of Rev James down the local the other day. Brilliant beer, tastes even better after lent!