March 23, 2012

The Fifth [Meatless] Friday of Lent

Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others. Amen. 

-The Blessing of a Marriage, the Book of Common Prayer

I grew up thinking only nuns could be married to God. Now I think there is no other way to consider our own holy relationship than marriage: a life together of mutual affection, unconditional love, and forgiving, forgiving.

Lent for me is very much about solitude. It is often a period I confront personal struggles only to be reminded of Christ’s own journey in these forty days. I think about Christ in the desert, alone.

I find one of the lovely, unanticipated pieces of married life is a new experience of solitude. The built-in companionship is perhaps the most comforting thing about living with your best friend; it makes, for Andrew and I, the alone times less lonely. Moments to ourselves provide cherished, meaningful time together. This ongoing conversation with God during Lent is nothing less. Quiet, intimate reflection builds a better understanding and appreciation of God's role in our lives.

When I am alone, I cherish long drives and quiet walks in places where no one knows me. These quiet moments to myself present meaningful catch-up time with God. I also love to cook for hours when I am alone (a different experience, if not activity, from times with my spouse in the house). Of course the downside to cooking for one is the lack of diners to appreciate your creation. The convenience of this Friday's meatless inspiration is how adaptable it is, full table or single serving. A unique take on pasta and salad. Click here for the menu.

This post is part of a series on the (Meatless) Fridays in Lent. Click here to learn more about this series, and to see additional recipes.