Being a Catholic outside of a Catholic country has its own weird happenings. I was raised in Puerto Rico and attended Catholic school all my life. Naturally on Ash Wednesday all of us would be walking around with the ashes on our foreheads. Even outside the school, everyone knew what the dark spot in your forehead was.
However, when I moved to the states on my very first Ash Wednesday un monton de gente would stop me to tell me I had dirt on my forehead. No, I’d say, it’s Ash Wednesday. Blank stare followed by what is that? Are you kidding me? You know Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent. Blank Stare. It’s a religious thing I’d say near exasperation.
So, as I type this, I’m about to leave for Mass for Ash Wednesday to get my dirt on the forehead. What am I giving up for Lent you ask? I thought about this long and hard. First I thought of giving up coffee. The shear thought of living without coffee for 40 days made me break into sweats. So I decided to give up two things: sweets and Dunkin Donuts coffee.
Trust me, if you live in Rhode Island, and feel even remotely a Rhode Islander, giving up Dunkin Donuts coffee is no easy task.
So to all you Catholics and Christians who follow the tradition of giving up something for Lent, what are you giving up this year?