Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lent!


As we all know Lent is around the corner. I'm very excited because this year I want to do it right. The only Lent I can ever remember being somewhat meaningful was when I was in the 4th grade. I gave up ice cream. I knew Lent was a way in which we could try, pathetically, to understand Jesus' sacrifice and temptation in the desert. Now I was an ice cream fiend, but I was not prepared for what was to come.

School was never a place where we had "parties"(except birthdays...but rarely) and my 4th grade teacher was the most serious teacher I ever had...so you could only imagine my surprise when she planned an ice cream party out of the blue. I had kids literally in my face saying "don't you want some? mmm it's so good!" I cried. hahaha. And my mom kept forgetting my lenten sacrifice as well because she kept taking my brother and I out to Stewarts (and she never usually did) all throughout Lent. But I will always remember that year because I was thrown curveball after curveball...and if memory serves me right...I endured great suffering, IMMENSE temptation, and came out with a sense of pride. I did this for God and He saw my suffering.

Now that I am older...I don't know if I want to just give up food/material things. I could easily give up desserts (I only eat around 1 small dessert a day, sometimes if any), I could give up tv (but all I really watch are encouraging Christian shows like EWTN, the Duggars, 700 Club, Kirk Cameron...and here at school...I need an outlet for entertainment since I spend weekends alone.)

What about trying to work on myself? Like trying to focus on controlling my speech...to try to not complain or curse...(I really need to let that go! For some reason it just sprouted here at school) Or maybe try to do Bible devotions each day or a rosary each day...something that will carry over PAST Lent. Something I can say, I did this for God and will continue to do for Him. I feel like I won't get that extreme sense of pride/relief at the end of Lent though that I did with the ice cream year. But then again I want this season to bring my whole being closer to God, not just suffer and go without...or should I do both? Or is that too much? gah!

How do you celebrate/practice Lent?
Do you give up something that is difficult to replace/go without in your life, or do you give up something like harboring anger/bad thoughts, gossip, etc..? Do you count Sunday as a day of Lent (I read that Sundays are always supposed to be a day of celebration for Catholics and is thus not counted in the Lenten calendar?) What about the fasts? Total abstinence from food, or do you do the 1 meal thing? Post your ideas and practices here, I really would love to hear some pointers/other view points. I want to reap the most from this Lent...as much as I possibly can! Give me your secrets! haha :)

Happy Wednesday!
~RA

5 comments:

caraboska said...

I used to be veg just because I don't like killing animals. But in recent years I have taken to fasting during Ramadan, and this year one of the Muslims in the circles I currently travel in asked me why I don't observe Lent or something instead of fastng during Ramadan. At that point, I went and looked up the requirements for the Roman Catholic Lenten fast, and discovered that being veg, I was already going even beyond the requirements of the Lenten fast - year round!

So I decided to dedicate my vegetarianism to the Lord as a fast that I will only break for medical necessity or if I am in someone else's home and there isn't a meatless alternative to what they are serving available, so as not to make a big deal about personal religious observance. I don't know if the Lord will lead me to do this for the rest of my life, but for the foreseeable future, yes, I am observing a permanent fast.

deltaflute said...

Usually I fast for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and every Friday would go meatless. This year I can't really fast because I'm breast feeding, but I'm going to try to still go meatless. I'll have to substitute something for the protein that I'll be missing.

Sometimes I pick something to sacrafice for Lent. I've given up chocolate, tv, and other things like that. I know the idea is to give up something in order to be closer to God. This year I don't think I'll be purposefully giving up something. I think spending my time taking care of my son and learning through that the sacrafices God makes for us everyday is a great way of getting closer to God. Being a new parent shifts the focus of life for me. You learn not to take anything for granted including being able to dash off to the bathroom. :)

caraboska said...

deltaflute: legumes in various forms (perhaps w/rice) and dairy products are the main options to replace meat proteins. I often opt for chick peas myself.

One thing: soy is even good from a protein standpoint. The problem is that it contains plant estrogens and in large quantities can affect your cycle and even put you at risk for breast cancer (especially if, God forbid, your gynecologist succumbs to the temptation to prescribe progesterone to 'even things out').

Let's say I found out about this from experience. I ended up with cancer some years agon, and basically can't use soy at all anymore - except maybe tofu. Any other soy I'm apparently very sensitive to.

~Joseph the Worker said...

This year I've resolved to give up smoking and wine for the entirety of Lent (I'm a drinking smoker..so...). I'm also committed to praying morning prayer every day over 40 days and practicing the piano every day. And, I'm not going to curse. I'm going to punish myself by extending my lenten period a day each time I fail to do something.

Annie said...

What sounds like a good idea to me is if you really try to set aside a time to read the Bible, and listen to and worship God each day, because this, like you said, will carry over past Lent. Also, if you are truly committed to doing it (which I believe you are), Satan will be tempting you in any way he can to keep you from growing in Christ, so you will be encountering suffering in that way. Whichever you decide, I pray it'll be a time of growth in your walk with God.

Annie