So I just got invited to join a “Fiat 90” program, which is 90 days of ascetic practices for Catholic laywomen.
Let’s guess how many of these ascetic practices have any relationship to the practices of historical Catholic lay ascetics.
Bing bing bing bing! Not very many!
And the ones that are historical are the exact ones that I physically can’t do, or have no way to manage. So yeah.
I don’t want to say it’s stupid, because it looks like an interesting program for, say, Catholic college students. But you get stuff like “eat only three meals a day with no snacks and fast from meals on Wednesday and Friday” and “do certain exercises every day,” and I’m thinking, “Kids, I have to eat when I can, or I faint. And I run around like a maniac lifting and kneeling and reaching as part of my job.” They have “Sleep seven hours a night,” and I’m thinking, “Kids, I’m middle-aged. It doesn’t matter when I go to bed; I’m going to wake up in six hours.”
Then they also want things like “Go to Confession every week,” which basically means that your group doesn’t go to a normal American parish, with Confession available only on Saturday from 4 PM to 5 PM. Apparently this got changed to “once a month,” which is still a pretty heavy burden on your typical US parish, but might get done.
The one that is really hilarious is “I will limit my texting.” I have a dumbphone. I can barely, barely text in emergencies, and it takes me ten minutes to send a message.
I am pretty clearly not the intended audience…. But it’s beautiful that these girls are trying to respond to God’s call, amend their lives, and discern His will.