Yay, Lent!

I admit it. I like Lent. I’m looking forward to Ash Wednesday, and I always feel sort of cleansed by the discipline of Lent. This year’s Lenten resolution: a total and complete spring cleaning of every nook, cranny, closet, and drawer in my apartment. Scrub the oven, move the furniture, maybe even figure out how to clean the carpets.

Second Lenten thingy: make a point to do something every day to nourish my mind, body, and spirit.

Anybody else enjoy Lent? How are you observing it?

I’m going to go to Missouri and get beaten with sticks for a week.

Should be fun.

Lucky. I go to Pennsic every year, but never have made Gulf Wars.

Yep, I’m a Lent fan. In recent years, I’ve realized that it’s not so much about giving something up as it is about gaining something - whether that’s through self denial or something else.

Anyway, this year I’m going to try to make it to daily Mass as much as possible (I did this last year, and made it every day except for the week I was out of the country for work) - I really found that it helped me stay focused.

And I’ve already sort of started this, but no sweets/candy/sugars - I did this last year too and knew I was healthier for it, but I’ve slipped as the year’s gone around.

I’d really like to find a place to volunteer, but with school taking as much time as it is lately, I don’t know whether that will happen.

My husband and I are going to give up buying books and eating out. We’e also going to work on getting to church more often.

The giving up book-buying is a pretty big sacrifice. I think Lent should be about giving up things you need to give up, learning to live without non-essentials, and increasing self-discipline. I’d give up the internet, too, but we don’t have a tv, and that plus no more books would be too much. :slight_smile:

I enjoy Lent too.

Giving up many different foods. Soda, chocolate, ice cream, red meat, and other such things.

I give up meat for Lent. It’s a matter of self-discipline, of focusing the mind. Each time I deny myself the bacon or ham, or, (drool) a burger with onions and sauteed mushrooms, I recall the greater sacrifice made for all of us.

I love lent. One part of this may be the melodies that are chanted in church that are exclusively lenten; they sound so different from what is sung the rest of the year. At the vespers that begins lent, the shift in melodies occurs in the middle of the service; it’s very jarring, as the lenten melodies are in a totally different scale, the harmonies shift from major 3rds and fifths to primarily fifths… it’s almost a bit metallish.

Orthodox lenten fasting is a bit severe compared to what Western Christianity practices: no meat, milk, eggs, or fish. It’s good for your heart, though (unless you hang out with Arab Orthodox, in which case it is incredibly easy to gain 10 lbs while going on a six-week fast :slight_smile: )

I have to admit I’m a bit of a voyeur in this thread:

I was raised UU, so no Lent for me as a child. And I’m a Pagan UU now, so definitely no Lent for me now. I do have to go plant some stuff though.

heaves big bag of potting soil

I like Lent. Every year I disappoint myself, though. I always hope that it will be more spiritual than the year before. And, for whatever reason, prayer has been so hard for me this last year. I used to do an hour every night, more during Lent. Right now I’m lucky if I can manage 20 minutes. My prayers feel like they’re going out into a void. I used to be able to meditate and put myself in the presence of God. Now I’m lucky if I feel His Presence during Mass. I do daily Mass 2-3 times per week, and that’s still fulfilling. I’m not losing my faith - I know God is still there. I’m just losing my ability to feel Him. It may be the depression - it makes meditation hard.

Several years ago one of the things I gave up was eating lunch out at work. I brown-bagged it and gave the money I saved to my parish’s soup kitchen. Perhaps that’s what I’ll do again. And maybe re-read St. Francis de Sales’ An Introduction to the Devout Life. It qould be a good time to re-start praying the rosary each night. Maybe that meditation will help me regain what I’ve lost.


I shocked my ninth grade religion class with my Lenten resolution. I’d been studying theology on my own, and with a couple of priests in my parish, so I thought I was pretty advanced. This “giving up something to prepare for Christ” was just a short cut–you had to do something to improve yourself ( I self-righteously pontificated (in my head))! So, we’re going around the room and everyone is giving up something–candy mostly, or TV or movies, maybe their allowance, typical stuff like that. I announce I’m not giving up anything, gonna eat candy every day while reading comic books and watching TV–and I let that hang there for a minute (I was nothing if not dramatic when being superior). I say I’m going to spend time each day reading to my neighbor and running errands for her (she was ill and did enjoy the company, it was a real “good thing” that I was doing). I may have gone so far as to quote "what you do for the least of my brothers . . " but I don’t think I was quite that insufferable (I was certainly thinking it!). Well, Sister Catherine did confirm that I was doing an acceptable thing, and I started a whole new trend–we kept our candy and ate it while we helped old ladies cross the street!

For those of you preparing your hearts for Christ this season–bright blessings and safe journeying, from a Pagan on the side of the Rebel Jesus.

It’s so cool that so many people like Lent! You warm my heart. :slight_smile:

StGermain, the Introduction to the Devout Life is my favorite devotional book ever. Don’t you just love how gentle and patient St. Francis is? He never says anything frightening, nor does he white-wash serious problems. I recently found a book of his letters to lay-people, giving them advice according to their situations (women with difficult mothers-in-law, people struggling with their tempers, etc.). It’s great.

FisherQueen, I like your house-cleaning suggestion…I think I’ll do that too.

I am going to try to go to Eucharistic Adoration every day. I work across the street from a church with Perpetual Adoration, so I’d have no excuse not to go. (I used to go a few times a week, but lately I’ve been so caught up in my work…and that’s been weighing on my conscience.)

As a side-note, I find that when I’m having trouble praying formally, Adoration is the best thing for me because just being in the presence of the Eucharist is a prayer, and it’s easier to talk to someone when you can look at him. :slight_smile: Someone once told me a story of a simple man who went to Adoration an hour every day, and someone asked him what he did during that time, and he answered, “I look at Him, and He looks at me.” I like that.

I’m also going to try to follow St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises. I have a hard time concentrating on guided prayer, so the effort will be good for me, even if I can’t keep it up for very long.

Hate Lent. Hate Easter. Love spring, but that’s been put on the back burner in Chicago. We’re expecting a big fat snowstorm today.

Anyone else here like The Practice Of The Presence Of God? I love it. I should reread it. Also

Last year I did daily psalms reading and tried to pray more. I think I might try to find a book on contemplative prayer, and try to do it, as well as normal intercessory prayer (which someone I very much respect drily pointed out tends to sounds like handing God a to-do list). Or I’ll ask my mother about it- she taught a session on contemplation and adoration durning the summer.

I should also eat the box of Peeps I bought last week. :slight_smile: That’s a Lent exercise and a half!

I’m pretty jealous of gallows fodder with the Perpetual Adoration that close - I haven’t found any parish in town here that has it, and it’s frustrating. I enjoyed being able to pop down to the Cathedral when I was in Atlanta whenever I could - I find Adoration an incredibly centering form of prayer, and I miss it so much.

Right on, Baker. That was lovely.

Oh, and call me afterwards, when you’re ready to come over for grilling . . . :slight_smile:

I love that as a holiday card. :wink:

Lissa Lissar - I haven’t read The Practice Of The Presence Of God, but I think I’ll give it a try this year. Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve been looking for something new to read this Lent. It’s the meditative, or contemplative prayer that’s so hard for me right now. I used to be able to start withthe rosary and get lost in the Presence. Now it just isn’t working like that for me. But intercessory prayer has it’s uses.

gallows fodder - I like the way St. Francis makes devotion seem so doable for anyone. He understands well that different people have different circumstances, different talents and different needs, and just lets us know that we can all live an interior life apart from our life in the world.


Another Lent voyeur checking in. I find the Lenten practice of giving something up to be entirely fascinating, and I love it that there are people who take it so seriously and enjoy it. I’m not exactly sure why, but it makes me terribly happy.

I’m a Jew, and I’ve already spotted matzah displayed prominently on the shelves of the local grocery store. Um…huzzah?

I just read an blurb in the SJ Mercury about a lady who gives up speeding for lent (?) She says (in part):

“It isn’t easy. I have to practice a few days ahead of time. I can’t just stop speeding overnight. And, I don’t start speeding the day after Easter, only gradually going back to old habits. I’ve hesitated to mention this over the years you’ve had this column, but I think it’s time people slow down. At least for 40 days and 40 nights.”

I have nothing else to contribute…