So some of you may remember my post 2 years ago about Lent. Here is a more detailed description and explanation of what Lent actually is and what is about and I’ll attempt to explain why I do it…
I’ll never forget when I was working at the mall a few years back and I was trying to explain Lent and why I gave up soda and my manager says, “So Catholics can’t drink soda?!” Ummm, no, not exactly.
Lent is the period of fasting leading up to the feast of Easter, recalling Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness. Catholic Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends right before the evening Masses of Holy Thursday, although Lenten penance continues through Holy Saturday.
The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, penitence, conversion, and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the Teutonic (Germanic) word for springtime, can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning: a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our corporate and personal relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to him. Our Lenten disciplines are supposed to help us become more like Christ. There are a few basic tasks that traditionally have been associated with Lent. Many of these have a long history. These are fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. In addition, reading the Scriptures and the Church’s Writings can help one grow during Lent.
The Western Rite of the Catholic Church requires its members age 18 to 59 to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, unless a physical condition prevents otherwise. This means only one full meal is permitted. The Fridays of Lent are days of required abstinence, meaning meat, and soups or gravies made of meat, are not permitted.
Prayer: Lent is a good time to develop or strengthen a discipline of daily prayer. Theology and liturgy should always be prayer, so a good discipline for Lent would be to make an effort to attend worship services whenever possible.
Almsgiving (Charity): While Lent is about giving something up (i.e. fasting), it is also about putting something positive in its place. The best way to remove vice is to cultivate virtue. Lent has been a traditional time of helping the poor and doing acts of charity and mercy. While as Christians this is a year round calling, Lent is a good time to examine ways to get involved and to make resolutions to actually do them. Giving alms can be done in more ways than just giving out money to people on the street. It can be done by helping your family, friends, and neighbors out of tight situations or being more generous to hired help.
*all of this info on Lent found here
So what am I sacrificing??? My usual: soda and sweets. The first few days are rough… caffeine withdrawals are beastly… but since I drink coffee pretty regularly now, it shouldn’t be too bad. Although, there are times when a Diet Coke or a Diet DP make me feel ‘all better’. 🙂 Sweets are going to be tough, I try to eat pretty healthy but definitely have been slipping up on my WW lifestyle. But, for some reason, when I make the vow to God during Lent, I do SO much better. Why can’t it be Lent all year round?? 😉 The only exception to the “sweets” rule are my fro-yo dates with the running BFFs, i.e. Janae
, & Julia
. Pretty much, my no sweets rule will include candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, etc. Something new I’d like to do this year is attempt to pray more. I can honestly say since Brad’s death I’ve definitely been praying more than I probably ever have in my whole life. But I’d like try to keep up with that and make it a daily, more regular thing. I’m also thinking of digging out my Bible (I know it’s somewhere!)
and maybe reading a verse or two.
Tomorrow marks the official start of Lent, it’s Ash Wednesday. So today, in true, Fat Tuesday style, I’ve been drinking soda like it’s no one’s business! LOL. and I sent Dizzle on a special trip to Bandidos for our dinner. Though, now that I think about it, I’m not giving up Mexican food… I guess I just wanted a yummy, not super nutritious dinner. 😉
p.s. Can I just say that I love that my super hott friend Kellie
said I was her inspiration for giving up Cinnamon toast, Butter, and Sugar. and also, she admits she’s trying to one-up Lent (and me). lol. but she still loves me. 😉