We haven’t stopped running since before Christmas and it is already a scorching 90 degrees in the Rio Grande Valley. The fact that we are a week into Lent seems impossible, I’m not getting any cues from my life my world that say, “it is time to slow down,” and making space for quiet meditation is the last thing I have time for.
But I suppose this is part of why we have Liturgical seasons. I may never stop hurrying and the seasons in south Texas may always feel out of sync with the rest of the country. Maybe a few times a year I need to be told to how feel because otherwise I would continue to race tripping over my own numb legs.
This week in the Liturgy of Life Reading group we read a chapter about Lent, in Let us Keep the Feast. This book offers a refreshing look at the ancient traditions that we have in the Liturgical seasons and is helpful whether this is all new to you or if you have been doing it your whole life.
Lent also echoes the larger truth of the Christian life: that there are times when we will experience hardship and suffering, spiritual winters, and extended darkness. It enlivens us to the harder realities of lifelong faithfulness- that there will be times of absence, doubt, unfulfilled hunger, and unmet spiritual longing- and trains us to follow Christ in times of darkness.
In giving ourselves to a season of less, we learn that our personal comforts have little to do with greater love of Christ. We, like most of God’s creatures, are seasonal and should know that some seasons are harsher than others. There are different lessons to be learned, different habits to be employed in winter than in summer. This is as true in our spiritual lives as in our gardens or the forests. Lent serves as a time to employ disciplines of self-denial and grow strong in them, rather than weakening ourselves in our constant pursuit of ease and joy. Lent assures us that joy will come later, and it will surely come.
One of the most common Lenten practices is a fast. For me growing up this meant giving up rich foods like meats. So I thought we would kicked off Lent this year by making a big pot of vegetable stock. Here ya go.
I roughly followed this recipe. But made some changes based on what I had and the quantity I wanted to make.
These proportions are for 4 quarts of water, but can easily be increased or decreased
Vegetables: 2 Onions (skin on), 10 stalks of celery, 2 carrots (always peeled), 1 head of garlic (skin on), and 6 parsley sprigs are a must. Then consider mushrooms, fennel bulb and others you may like. All washed and cut into halves.
Seasoning: 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, one bay leaf and then other herbs which you enjoy.
2 Tablespoons of olive oil or your favorite.
- Heat oil in a large stock pot and add onions, saute until softened, a few minutes and then add other vegetables. Saute another few minutes.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Then simmer for about 2 hours.
- Strain and discard vegetables.
- Let liquid cool and store in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. You can also transfer into a pressure canner while still hot and follow the directions to can it and store it in the pantry.
This post is part of a series from the Liturgy of Life Reading Group we are currently reading, Let us Keep the Feast. I would love to hear from you. If you blog feel free to link up with us every Wednesday and share your thoughts on our latest book. You can also Like Liturgy of Life on facebook, join our facebook discussion group or subscribe for a weekly update and special emails.
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