My mother would say that I’m a high days and holidays Catholic and she’s a fine one to talk. Despite going to three Catholic schools, making my First Holy Communion (although I never made my Confirmation) and knowing a good number of hymns off my heart, the last time I set foot in a church was five years ago for my godson’s christening. But I’m not the only one – only one of my four Catholic school friends got married in a church and even my own sister (who only went to one Catholic school, rather than all three) opted for a civil ceremony.
However when Lent comes around, my Catholic guilt tends to get the better of me and I make the decision to give up something good in my life – usually chocolate. There’s no way I would be able to cope for 40 days and 40 nights without wine or cheese, or even Diet Coke, so chocolate seems the easiest option. Last year I managed two and a half weeks before giving in. I think a work colleague make Cadbury’s Creme Egg brownies and it felt like I would miss out big time if I didn’t at least sample one and then that was it. I’d failed. Oh well, at least I’d tried.
So this year I thought I’d try again. With my year of challenging myself already in full swing with my running, this should be relatively easy, and it really was for the first four days. This is where I admit that I had two Celebrations while at my parents’ house the first Saturday in Lent. I completely blame my mother as she just waved them in front of my face when I was busy chatting about my week and I didn’t realise what I was doing.Funnily enough it wasn’t until I was bragging 20 minutes later about how I’d managed to get an M&S Dine In for Two meal with chocolate-less desserts as I had given it up for Lent and she glanced at the Celebrations wrappers that I twigged. But do two teeny weeny chocolates really matter in the grand scheme of things? I had a quiet word with God and we agreed, it’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts so I carried on regardless.
I’m very proud that apart from that one little hiccup I have been chocolate-free for 23 days now, with only another 24 to go.
Amen to Easter Sunday!