Yeah, my feelings exactly. I think I’m going to try to actually attend Mass during Lent - last time I went was last September. hides in shame I would do the fasting and all, but I don’t eat three meals a day anyway, so it wouldn’t be giving up much.
What, spending three-six hours on the phone with Mom every week isn’t enough? Being supportive when she says “oh, but your father was such a good man, and a wonderful father!” (his death anniversary is this month) when I’d like to say “yeah right, between his perfectionism and your ‘united front’ you screwed our childhood every way except for physical abuse” isn’t enough?
I’m not giving up chocolate (which I did other years), I need it in order to survive Mom
Should be ok but, I’m traveling to Wales via the Balkans.
To answer more seriously, I sort of “reinvented” Lent years ago. I’ve had times when I couldn’t go to Mass on Sundays, so I started holding my Sabbath on Thursdays: a day when I knew for sure I would not have to go see anybody, go to work (unless at least two coworkers got sick), and I’d be able to reflect and take things slow.
Right now I’m not going to Mass: in German I don’t understand it and the French churches I’ve located seem to change hours every week. I play “open the Bible” and read theology. I just don’t see the point of going to Mass when I know that if I don’t understand the language I just get sleepy. If I do stay, I’ll verify whether the local cable company includes any Italian or Spanish TV, since those usually include Mass on Sundays (RAI is pretty much priests 24h on sundays).
And my own take on Lent is that rather than dedicate a specific period or item (which due to the irregularity of my life it’s complicated to organize), I try to keep an equilibrium in what I eat, in my rest and in my life wherever I happen to be, and at all times. For the last 3 years (this one as well), Lent has happened to happen at the same time as periods of overtime and overnerves; giving up part of meals would end up with me sick, which is not the idea. This year I’ve already given up soda “in general”, as part of the equilibrium thing and not of Lent… like I said, I’ve given up chocolate other years but this year between my boss and my mother I need something comforting…
So I’m trying to give up frustration. Can you do that?
Raminds me of the old joke about the Jewish girl and her Catholic boyfriend:
He: “I can’t, honey–it’s Lent.”
She: “That’s ridiculous! Who’d you lend it to and when are they returning it?”
I am going to attempt, yet again, giving up smoking. Actually, I’ve never done that at Lent and I’ve always been pretty good at keeping my Lenten promises, so it just might work this time. Also, I will do Morning Prayer, not at church but at home. Somehow doing a devotional in private in my home seems right.
ETA: Ya know Nava, giving up frustration, i.e., those things that just get to you, sounds like a good thing to work on at Lent. Good luck!
I think you can try, at least. I tried to give up complaining, one year. Man, that was hard, but it did make me painfully aware of how much time I spend complaining. Actually, I think you should point out to your mother (in a really pious, self-righteous voice) that you’re offering up your phone calls with her as an act of penance, for the redemption of the world. That would go great.
Lent starts on Wednesday. Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday. Does anyone know what the fast/abstinence rules are for Ash Wednesday?
A half dozen of my friends and family are now smoke free after years and years of smoking. It can be done and I have confidence that you’ll be able to do it.
It’s not nearly as difficult as your habit but I’m giving up soda. I get horrific migraines from the caffeine. I’ve suffered for years with this and have no idea why I kept buying the stuff. No more. Yesterday at around 4pm, as I lay suffering from yet another headache, I made the vow to give the stuff up forever. I’m not waiting til Ash Wednesday.
Y’all may want to put a short on Pepsico.
I’ve still got 38 hours to decide, and I may need all of them. Lent sort of snuck up on me this year, despite the fact that I did remember to tell my boss I would be in late on Wednesday morning so I could go to mass. Somehow the concepts of “Ash Wednesday” and “Lent” became disassociated in my brain.
So I’m going to watch this thread closely over the next day, and perhaps I can draw some inspiration from it.
I heard Ms. Spears is doing the same thing
Madre de Dios, she’d call every day! Heck, she might offer to make Grandma call me, only we both know that Grandma. Never. Calls. The reasons it’s Mom who calls me and not the other way 'round is that it’s free, she’s harder to find than me and it’s free. Have I mentioned it’s free?
The fast/abstinence rules are the same as for Lent Fridays. Easy to remember.
swampy, Dad quit a couple times and after a few days he’d be so snappy that Mom would tell him to just light up and stop being a turd. For ACBG’s sanity and your interviews, I hope you do better than that
For Ash Wednesday and Good Friday: abstinence from eating meat(fish is OK). Fasting: you can have one regular meal and two smaller meals during the day, but no snacking.
I was always taught that you had to give up one meal altogether.
It looks like dogbutler beat me to the obligatory wiki link. This site seems to have the full prayers on it. As for how I pray it, I have an overly confusing little black book that is meant to guide me through it. It has approximately one thousand skinny ribbons (think of all of the little ribbons that the Sacramentary has…my copy of the LotH kind of looks like that) attached to the spine that act as bookmarks. It intimidates the heck out of me when I’m out of practice, but I love it when I’m in practice.
If you’re between 18 and 59 years old and in good health, you’re meant to fast. Fasting allows for one full meal and two smaller meals to keep your strength up. The two smaller meals are not meant to equal one full meal combined. Snacking between meals isn’t allowed, but drinks like milk, juice, coffee, etc are. We are called to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Abstinence is simply refraining from eating meat products, not including fish. Everyone above the age of 14 is meant to observe abstinence. We are called to abstain from meat on days of fast and on Fridays during Lent.
If you’re unable to fast or abstain for health reasons, then you are encouraged to practice some other form of self denial.
Bricker, thanks for the prayers!
See, I didn’t snack as a kid. Heck, I rarely snack now. The mid-morning sandwich as a teen wasn’t a “snack”, it was health and safety prevention: it kept the hungry teenagers from devouring their teachers, Roman-lion-style. We all fell on the sandwich store like the marabunta, at recess time. Giving that forearm-long sandwich up would have meant a lot of unruly teenagers with loudly-growling stomachs, which is no way to have a productive lesson.
The version of fast I was taught was “eat less than usual and no sweets.” Fruit or a yoghurt for dessert ok, a piece of cake no way. And if you get dizzy, eat something: dizzy counts as “health reasons”.
Many company canteens in Spain always have fish on Fridays. Once I was in a factory where the canteen didn’t have fish available during Lent Fridays (out of three choices!) and we actually complained discreetely to HR that, you know, this is preventing me from following my religious rules which excuse-me-aren’t-so-rare-in-Spain and it’s not like I’m asking for hand-grown caviar from the South Pole.
Well, there’s a clear sign of grace.
I hate fish. I’ll be eating tofu and eggs on Fridays. I knew about Good Friday, but wasn’t sure about Ash Wednesday. Thanks.
Wow, swampy. Giving up smoking is huge. Good for you.
Heh. I am in and out of discerning to be a nun as well, and I am leaning toward Benedictine too. But man, is that book confusing. I visited one monastery and of course all the women were adept at finding the right spot. I have a much simpler version I use at home when I am in the habit of it.
Lissla Lissar, how exciting! Thank you for the reminder that this Vigil will be the big day. Have you been attending Mass and leaving before Communion?
I am not sure about what I am doing for Lent. Daily Mass is a good idea. Food is always touchy for me, but I hope to make the sacrifice/follow better habits by going grocery shopping regularly and only eating what I have bought there, rather than take-out or vending machine. I also hope to take more time for discernment; my job is up in September and this is the time to find a community to explore, rather than take another in this series of less meaningful jobs. Or at least find a lay associate/oblate program so as to be part of a community in some sense even if I don’t take the plunge into religious life.
Its hard for me. I’m on a very strict diet already, so giving up food items is either not a sacrifice or is health-threatening. I could give up beer, but I can’t drink it anyway. But if I give up wine with dinner, its defacto forcing my wife to give up wine with dinner, which will increase household stress.
What I really need to give up for Lent are all of my credit cards. I need to rediscover my strength of will through sacrifice and cut out all unnecessary spending. My Easter present would be freedom from the burden of debt while still rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Given the high esteem Jesus had for money lenders, I can’t say he’d disaprove.
Mind if a pesky 'Piscy checks in?
For spiritual discipline, I’ll be doing my usual daily round of reading the daily devotionals and commentary in Forward Day by Day. For physical discipline, I have a bad knee which I tend to neglect a bit. I’m going to try to be better about exercising it at least every other day.
I haven’t decided what to do for Lent this year (Siege, I’m even more Protestant than you - I’m Covenant!). Lent sneaked up on me, too – and Wednesday is also my birthday, so I’m not even sure I’ll be going to church that night! I’m pregnant, so I don’t think I will give up anything food-related that I haven’t already had to give up because of the little one.
I’m thinking about trying to be more intentional and less lazy in a lot of areas in my life – church, housekeeping, exercise, etc. – so this might be a good commitment for me for Lent this year. I think it may mean doing a “TV fast” since that is my major problem in terms of laziness. I’ll have to get my husband on board, though, because if he turns the TV on, I will end up watching it!
Thanks for starting this thread, Lissa, and making me think about it.