Give Up Charlie Sheen For Lent!

Today is Ash Wednesday and I propose that we all give up Charlie Sheen for Lent!  What do you think?  For forty days no more interviews, twitters, goddesses, and proclamations of self-cures by an obviously drugged and deluded brain!  The real tragedy is that one day his children will Google their dad's name and wonder if they're in danger of inheriting the madness.
But giving up something for Lent has been on my mind a lot lately.  At last Sunday's Mass, the priest talked about being prepared for Lent.  Prepared?  Oops!  I've never thought about being prepared before, but he made a good point.  He talked about waiting to decide what to give up for Lent and before he knew it, it was two weeks into Lent!  I've done that and I'm sure most of us have.
The first reading today from Joel 2:12 (NAB) is quite touching:
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.
We are being called back to faith, but unlike Charlie Sheen, we are not to be public about it.  In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us:
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you." - Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 (NAB)
I'm going to try my best to make this a "good" Lent.  And unlike Charlie Sheen (who insists he's cured himself with what's left of his mind, no less), I think I'll keep it to myself how I'm going to do it.

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