March 23, 2009

Paschal Procrastination

It's a well-worn maladaptive strategy for dealing with life, to declare things to be pro cras, "for tomorrow" and thus absolve yourself of having to care about them now. But at certain times of the year, at least for us Christians, it's a good idea.

Anyone who pays attention to the liturgy notices that a shift occurs on the fifth Sunday of Lent. The texts and focus move our attention to the Lord's Passion and we begin our 'final ascent' to the great mysteries of the Paschal Triduum and Easter. This was more explicit in the old calendar, when the last two weeks before Easter were called Passiontide and everybody noticed because of the veiling of sacred images.

So as I approach these more intense days, I don't feel guilty at all about declaring all kinds of things to be pro cras until after Easter: meetings with engaged couples, several sorts of administrative busywork that the Holy Spirit has given me as a salutary penance, car maintenance, and thoughts about my future beyond my current assignment. All of it can be on hold for Passiontide and be happily received anew during the Easter Octave.

2 comments:

ben in denver said...

Before I began attending mass regulary at the EF parish I go to now, my OF parish still veiled the images begining on the 5th Sunday of Lent.

4narnia said...

yes, Fr. C, it IS a very good idea for us Christians to practice "Paschal Procrastination," as you say. it's definitely a different and more solemn feeling beginning with the fifth Sunday of Lent. it is good to step further back away from unneccesary things besides just we may have given up for Lent and really turn the focus more prayerfully toward Jesus and His Passion. thanks for sharing this, Fr. C! PEACE! ~tara t~