Inspired By Ireland: The post I should’ve written on St. Patrick’s Day

I admit to having been a total kill-joy last Monday, writing about Lent on St. Patrick’s Day.

Son of the Shadows cover

This week’s post will make up for that.

Even though St. Paddy’s Day isn’t a significant event in my life (likely because usually I’m in the throes of Lent at the time), the mystique of Ireland was a powerful inspiration for me in the early days of my novel-in-progress.

Not because the story itself has anything to do with Ireland (it’s set in medieval England), but instead due to some of the books I was reading and music I was listening to at the time: two fabulous works whose recommendation is a far more pleasant St. Patrick’s Day greeting (however overdue) than my blathering on about giving up indulgences and society falling apart.

 

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Lent: Not Just For Catholics, Not Only About Saying Sorry

Countdown calendar

So today, on St. Patrick’s Day – a day of parades, parties, and green beer in North America – I’ve decided to write about Lent.

I’m not Catholic, or even especially religious. Yet Lent is a ritual I practice regularly.

For those even less religious than I, Lent is the 40-day period preceding Easter and running roughshod right over St. Paddy’s Day during which, among other things, it’s customary for people to temporarily give up on indulgent habits.

It’s a period of penitence, self-denial, and reflection corresponding with the 40 days Jesus Christ spent alone in the desert prior to the start of his ministry, fasting and enduring temptation from the Devil.

The purpose of Lent is to prepare Christians to rejoice at the resurrection of Jesus at Easter.

As I mentioned above, I’m not especially religious.

And yet, in recent years, for Lent I’ve given up,

  • Bagels
  • Chocolate
  • All desserts
  • Needless complaining

And this year, movies and Netflix.

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