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johnnysannie
02-25-2009, 05:02 AM
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which in my Catholic faith begins the Lenten season. As I've done in the past (not that I expect anyone to remember or notice) I'll be spending less time online and here.

So see ya after Lent (which will be Easter)

Happy writing!

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-25-2009, 05:12 AM
Ah, it's tomorrow it starts! My mom was asking (I don't celebrate so I couldn't remember when), so thanks for posting about this :) Have a good Lent and Happy Easter!

Jersey Chick
02-25-2009, 05:53 AM
I think that's the first time I've ever seen "Have a good Lent" :D

Wayne K
02-25-2009, 06:02 AM
I thought it was "lent" vs "loaned"

mscelina
02-25-2009, 06:04 AM
I'm giving up promo work.

No. Seriously. No more promoing for me.

Okay. I lied. I'll give up lying instead. ;) Maybe I'll even pop into church so my priest can have the pleasure of lightning in the cathedral. He'll love it, I know.

Rachel
02-25-2009, 06:08 AM
I'm actually Melkite Greek Catholic. Lent started yesterday, for us.
My birthday always falls during Lent. It is sad. :(
But I'm fine. :D

Jersey Chick
02-25-2009, 06:09 AM
Ahhh.. you but you could give up aging!

You gotta think outside the box.

Horserider
02-25-2009, 06:28 AM
Have a happy Easter! I'm Catholic too, but because my mom's a little different than normal Catholics she doesn't really observe Lent except for the no meat on Fridays. I've decided to help out more around the house.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-25-2009, 06:45 AM
I think that's the first time I've ever seen "Have a good Lent" :D

I didn't know what else to say :tongue I haven't celebrated Lent in years.

James81
02-25-2009, 06:46 AM
I'm giving up cigarettes. But I started Monday thinking that lent started then.

Obviously I'm not Catholic (used to be when I was kid).

Kateri
02-25-2009, 07:23 AM
I used to do Lent. Now after years as a kid giving up every thing I liked the best in life, like lollies and chocolate and dessert, I pig out and have fun. Lent taught me to question self denial.

Mumut
02-25-2009, 08:03 AM
When I was seventeen I gave up going to church for lent. I've never been back. 47 years of sticking to a lentern promise. Is that a record?

SirOtter
02-25-2009, 10:13 AM
It's the same for we Episcopalians. Several years ago I gave up Lent for Lent.

Bmwhtly
02-25-2009, 12:20 PM
I don't really practice the religiocity of Lent, but it's a good excuse to cut right back on things that are bad for you.

So I shall cut out... umm.... Wine.

Jean Marie
02-25-2009, 06:26 PM
I didn't know what else to say :tongue I haven't celebrated Lent in years.
Lent's not celebratory, it's a reflective time. It's not about necessarily giving things up, imo, if that helps. Unless of course, that's your spiritual aim.

Yes, the no meat on Fridays still holds.

Yes, I'm Catholic.

Easter is celebratory :D

Jersey Chick
02-25-2009, 06:30 PM
For us Lent was always about giving something up - to symbolize the religious sacrifice. I stopped doing it when I decided I was agnostic instead of Catholic (and my recovery's coming along nicely, thank you very much :D).

Now my husband's from a very Catholic family and since it's important to him, my daughter's now in CCD (or whatever they call it because I know it isn't CCD anymore, but that's how I suffered through it) and since it's Lent... well... we do the no meat on Fridays thing, and she will give something up... I haven't decided if I'm going to, though.

Jean Marie
02-25-2009, 06:35 PM
That's why I'm suggesting it be more of reflective in lieu of giving up. That's how our priest explains it, and it makes much more sense to me...that's what Jesus would want anyhow, instead of a bunch of grumblers :D who more than likely are going to go right back to whatever they gave up! whereas, being reflective, for me, may bring about more lasting change, which might be the point. I probably need coffee, right ;)

maxmordon
02-25-2009, 06:36 PM
Catholic here, I have chosen to give up something I do a lot of times but won't mention here out of shame just to teach myself self-control and because I feel I need to give something back, haven't gone to a church in a while (about a year, I think) so this is some sort of retribution.

maxmordon
02-25-2009, 06:37 PM
That's why I'm suggesting it be more of reflective in lieu of giving up. That's how our priest explains it, and it makes much more sense to me...that's what Jesus would want anyhow, instead of a bunch of grumblers :D who more than likely are going to go right back to whatever they gave up! whereas, being reflective, for me, may bring about more lasting change, which might be the point. I probably need coffee, right ;)


You're quite an example, Jean Marie :)

Jean Marie
02-25-2009, 06:40 PM
Catholic here, I have chosen to give up something I do a lot of times but won't mention here out of shame just to teach myself self-control and because I feel I need to give something back, haven't gone to a church in a while (about a year, I think) so this is some sort of retribution.
which fits into the change thing I'm talking about, Max. you're talking about a lasting effect type of thing. not something that you're only going to do for a month, like say, sugar. that's what I'm trying to explain.

Jean Marie
02-25-2009, 06:41 PM
You're quite an example, Jean Marie :)
not really, Max, but thanks. I do the best I can to work on things that I don't like and I don't think work.

Jersey Chick
02-25-2009, 06:50 PM
You're probably right - I would grumble about whatever I HAD to give up and go right back on Easter. Now, I figure it's payback if I make my daughter do it :D (I had to do it and now, you have to, neener neener neener!)

Wayne K
02-25-2009, 06:55 PM
I don't think God would want me to put something down that would distract me from the whole thing. If something is "bad" for you, you should try to eliminate it from your life rather than torture yourself with it once a year. If it's a reflective time then TV is a good thing to give up. It's hard to reflect on things with the devil in your ear.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-25-2009, 06:57 PM
Lent's not celebratory, it's a reflective time. It's not about necessarily giving things up, imo, if that helps. Unless of course, that's your spiritual aim.

Yes, the no meat on Fridays still holds.

Yes, I'm Catholic.

Easter is celebratory :D

See what I mean? hehe Personally I designate my own reflective time, but I'm also big on anything that helps someone spiritually. So if Lent helps, all the power to it.

Either way, I'll be celebrating Ostara.

maxmordon
02-25-2009, 07:03 PM
What's Ostara?

Wayne K
02-25-2009, 07:25 PM
The rituals that marked the spring planting time are still known by name to us today, called "Easter," or to Asatruar, Eostre, or ostara.

This is what I found and I'm going to study it and celebrate it every year. I love gardening, so it's something I can enjoy.

stormie
02-25-2009, 07:36 PM
There is already fasting on Ash Wednesday and each Friday until Easter, and no meat on those days too (abstenance). That's the self-denial. Catholics are now encouraged not to give up something for Lent, like chocolate or your-beverage-of choice, but to do something more, like volunteering at the food bank or even saying a decade of the rosary each day. It's supposed to be a time of reflection.

MoonWriter
02-25-2009, 08:44 PM
Stormie, I think the fasting is reserved only for today, Ash Wednesday, and for Good Friday, whereas abstinence is expected today and every Friday.

Wayne - you mentioned no TV as a means to help reflect. It works. When I was growing up, we couldn't watch TV or listen to the radio on Good Friday. Along with fasting, it's works well. I still practice this. Every hunger pang, everytime I want to plop down in front of the TV, everytime I get in my truck and reach for the radio, reminds me to reflect on the significance of the day.

Wayne K
02-25-2009, 08:57 PM
Wayne - you mentioned no TV as a means to help reflect. It works. When I was growing up, we couldn't watch TV or listen to the radio on Good Friday. Along with fasting, it's works well. I still practice this. Every hunger pang, everytime I want to plop down in front of the TV, everytime I get in my truck and reach for the radio, reminds me to reflect on the significance of the day.
I'm sure your I.Q. shot up a few points too.

MoonWriter
02-25-2009, 09:11 PM
No doubt, Wayne. In New Orleans, we call that lagniappe - a little unexpected something extra. Maybe I shouldn't wait for Good Friday to practice the no TV rule. :)

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-25-2009, 09:14 PM
What's Ostara?

This is a pretty good article on Ostara for you and anyone else who's curious: http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=1991

stormie
02-25-2009, 09:16 PM
In this house, we still observe the quiet time from 12 to 3 on Good Friday. Or try to. :)

Wayne K
02-25-2009, 09:24 PM
No doubt, Wayne. In New Orleans, we call that lagniappe - a little unexpected something extra. Maybe I shouldn't wait for Good Friday to practice the no TV rule. :)
I wasn't being glib (though I do that a lot) Comcast turned me off over hidden fees last January and I haven't looked back. I've read 11 books, written two and devoured the most part of thirty more (Research) in that time.
When I tell people I don't own a TV they look at me like I'm crazy(er).

stormie
02-25-2009, 09:30 PM
Wayne--if it weren't that my husband loves, loves, loves, tv, we wouldn't have it either, or else very basic cable. My two sons hardly ever watch it. I usually only watch the news at night. Most stuff you can get on the internet. Besides, helps not having to pay about $60 more a month.

Now, back to Lent.

trickywoo
02-25-2009, 10:07 PM
I think Lent can be about choosing the positive as much as foregoing the negative.

I'm Anglican, so we had an Ash Wednesday service this AM, and the priest reminded us that it's a time of self-examination, self-denial, and reflection on God's word. The self-denial sure helps us to perhaps forego areas where we need discipline, but I think it also helps strengthen our wills and show us that perhaps we're stronger when we thought.

I think the idea is to follow after Jesus' example of 40 days in the wilderness and then the passion - so, we take a season of reflection on our mortality and sin, repent and seek humility, and then prepare to receive the hope and promise of grace in Easter, if that makes sense.

Anyway, this year I want to try and give up critical speech and instead try and listen to others and cultivate compassion. Obviously not something I can check off a list, but I think it helps us be more aware and intentional about how we live our lives.

Bravo
02-25-2009, 10:15 PM
it always bothers me when practicing catholics don't give something up during lent.

"you don't have to"

for jesus' sake, just do it!

give something up for a month.

knowing that you cant have something that's "bad" for you will help you reflect on things.

it really shouldn't be that hard.

good luck.

~Pope Bravocius IX

stormie
02-25-2009, 10:23 PM
I think the idea is to follow after Jesus' example of 40 days in the wilderness and then the passion - so, we take a season of reflection on our mortality and sin, repent and seek humility, and then prepare to receive the hope and promise of grace in Easter, if that makes sense.
Yes. Well said.


Anyway, this year I want to try and give up critical speech and instead try and listen to others and cultivate compassion. Obviously not something I can check off a list, but I think it helps us be more aware and intentional about how we live our lives. Good idea. I should do that. Actually, it'd probably be better for my family if I was less stormy.

CaroGirl
02-25-2009, 10:25 PM
I'm all about moderation in daily life. Neither in indulgence nor sacrifice. Boring? Maybe. I've also never observed any religious rite, having been raised almost entirely without religion. Lent sounds like a drag, man.

James81
02-25-2009, 10:27 PM
Anyway, this year I want to try and give up critical speech and instead try and listen to others and cultivate compassion.

What does that even mean? lol

trickywoo
02-25-2009, 10:34 PM
What does that even mean? lol

LOL.

I know it sounds pretty abstract, but my idea is basically to stop saying negative things about/to people (or events or public figures or whatever). I guess it's like the kiddie rule - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?

Instead, I'm going to try and be compassionate toward people instead of tearing them apart, you know? And if I have a real problem with someone, I want to try and go to them directly and politely, instead of getting all in a wad about it and ranting.

I'm going to start with my family and every morning think about the things that I am grateful for about my sons/husband. And then I'm going to look for opportunities to tell them those things during the day. And then at the end of the day, I'm going to try and reflect on things I've said to/about people and evaluate. Does that make sense?

AND, I forgot to add this the first time, I want to try and shut my mouth and LISTEN to other people. I can tell this is going to be hard already - I did a whole post blabbing about my plans for lent and forgot the listening part... Oh well, I guess I have to start somewhere...

James81
02-25-2009, 10:37 PM
I know it sounds pretty abstract, but my idea is basically to stop saying negative things about/to people (or events or public figures or whatever). I guess it's like the kiddie rule - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?

Instead, I'm going to try and be compassionate toward people instead of tearing them apart, you know? And if I have a real problem with someone, I want to try and go to them directly and politely, instead of getting all in a wad about it and ranting.

I'm going to start with my family and every morning think about the things that I am grateful for about my sons/husband. And then I'm going to look for opportunities to tell them those things during the day. And then at the end of the day, I'm going to try and reflect on things I've said to/about people and evaluate. Does that make sense?

It's tough to come up with something concrete to DO that, but I guess I have to start somewhere...

So basically you are wanting to construct everything you see with a positive frame?

Instead of saying: "Man I hate buttered peas"

you would say: "Man, I would like something else besides buttered peas."

trickywoo
02-25-2009, 10:41 PM
So basically you are wanting to construct everything you see with a positive frame?

Instead of saying: "Man I hate buttered peas"

you would say: "Man, I would like something else besides buttered peas."

A little bit more than that, I think. It's not being dishonest, but just not airing unsolicited negative opinions. Like, do I really need to complain about buttered peas? Maybe I just wouldn't say anything.

For me, it has more to do with other people - as in, not ranting to my husband about what so-and-so did if it serves no positive purpose. Or, even something more distant, like not bashing a public figure just to vent about it.

I guess I find myself pretty critical by nature, even if it serves no effect. And I think, whether people actually hear what I'm saying about them/some topic or not, it can be hurtful and not helpful. So, instead of railing about the idiot who cut in front of me in the grocery store line, I would just try and keep my mouth shut.

We'll see how it actually plays out...

CaroGirl
02-25-2009, 10:46 PM
LOL.

I know it sounds pretty abstract, but my idea is basically to stop saying negative things about/to people (or events or public figures or whatever). I guess it's like the kiddie rule - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?

Instead, I'm going to try and be compassionate toward people instead of tearing them apart, you know? And if I have a real problem with someone, I want to try and go to them directly and politely, instead of getting all in a wad about it and ranting.

I'm going to start with my family and every morning think about the things that I am grateful for about my sons/husband. And then I'm going to look for opportunities to tell them those things during the day. And then at the end of the day, I'm going to try and reflect on things I've said to/about people and evaluate. Does that make sense?

AND, I forgot to add this the first time, I want to try and shut my mouth and LISTEN to other people. I can tell this is going to be hard already - I did a whole post blabbing about my plans for lent and forgot the listening part... Oh well, I guess I have to start somewhere...
This sounds great. However, it doesn't sound like "giving something up" as a sacrifice, like the traditional chocolate or coffee, it sounds more like a New Year's resolution that you only have to keep for a month instead of (conceivably) forever. Or, in the case of my New Year's resolutions, a day and a half.

James81
02-25-2009, 10:48 PM
A little bit more than that, I think. It's not being dishonest, but just not airing unsolicited negative opinions. Like, do I really need to complain about buttered peas? Maybe I just wouldn't say anything.

For me, it has more to do with other people - as in, not ranting to my husband about what so-and-so did if it serves no positive purpose. Or, even something more distant, like not bashing a public figure just to vent about it.

I guess I find myself pretty critical by nature, even if it serves no effect. And I think, whether people actually hear what I'm saying about them/some topic or not, it can be hurtful and not helpful. So, instead of railing about the idiot who cut in front of me in the grocery store line, I would just try and keep my mouth shut.

We'll see how it actually plays out...

Is that really going to be good for you though?

It's not always a good idea to hold stuff in.

If the idiot who cuts you off in traffic makes you angry, then be angry.

I dunno, I think you might be taking on something that might make things worse for you.

Then again, I don't know you, so....

But I could see a positive reframing of the things you are most critical about. That might be a good thing if you just resolved to phrase it in a positive way.

MoonWriter
02-25-2009, 10:54 PM
Buttered peas sound good to me. Heck, about now, I'd be tempted to eat cooked carrots. :)

trickywoo
02-25-2009, 11:05 PM
Point taken. I'm not so much going for not self-expressing as learning how to control what I say. But you're right, it's kind of a fine distinction to make and probably needs some more thought.

If something is no good, or if someone has hurt me, and I need to say something, I should do that. I'm not talking about avoiding confrontation, but I'm talking about cutting out sarcasm and unhelpful criticism. Especially criticism about people instead of talking to them. In the traffic scenario, I don't get the chance to pull that person aside and tell them that they bothered me, so maybe it's not the best example. But closer to home, I do. Instead of venting to my husband about something one of my friends said or did, perhaps I should talk directly with that person about it and explain why it bothered me. And I'm not so sure always expressing anger about situations like the road rage is necessarily beneficial. What good does it do? It makes me an angrier person who is less patient with other people.

I guess that's where the compassion piece comes in. Do I really see people as valuable and worthy of trying to understand them, or do I think of them as inconveniences or annoyances? Why do I feel comfortable tearing down someone like Brittany Spears or griping about some random person who maybe just had a really bad day and that's why they cut in front of me or whatever. Why is my default to judge people and find them wanting rather than to think the best of them?

In then end, I'm trying to apply the Christian teaching of trying not to judge others (for me, this primarily comes out through critical speech).

OK. End of self-analysis, although it's been helpful to try and articulate some of these thoughts aloud. Lots to ponder for the next few days...

James81
02-25-2009, 11:14 PM
I guess that's where the compassion piece comes in. Do I really see people as valuable and worthy of trying to understand them, or do I think of them as inconveniences or annoyances? Why do I feel comfortable tearing down someone like Brittany Spears or griping about some random person who maybe just had a really bad day and that's why they cut in front of me or whatever. Why is my default to judge people and find them wanting rather than to think the best of them?

In then end, I'm trying to apply the Christian teaching of trying not to judge others (for me, this primarily comes out through critical speech).

OK. End of self-analysis, although it's been helpful to try and articulate some of these thoughts aloud. Lots to ponder for the next few days...

I liked this stuff. Gave me stuff to think about, so thanks for expanding on it.

I may even challenge myself in a similar way.

James81
02-25-2009, 11:14 PM
But then again, it may be kinda fun to tempt you. :tongue

trickywoo
02-25-2009, 11:17 PM
This sounds great. However, it doesn't sound like "giving something up" as a sacrifice, like the traditional chocolate or coffee, it sounds more like a New Year's resolution that you only have to keep for a month instead of (conceivably) forever. Or, in the case of my New Year's resolutions, a day and a half.

Ha-ha. Yep, I'm pretty much guaranteed to fail, whether I call it a resolution or a Lenten discipline. I don't have a problem with it being similar to a resolution, though, because I think in Lent you are resolving to do something or give up something.

I think the idea is self-discipline and choosing something that helps you cultivate reflection. So, some years I have given up coffee (so sad) or desserts or TV or whatever. But this year I'm aiming for discipline of what I say. I think a fast isn't only what you give up as what you make space for. So, in the sense that you might give up TV to make space to listen to God more, or you might give up sweets to help remind you to hunger after God, or you might give up a meal to set aside time for prayer, or something like that, I want to give up criticism in order to learn how to speak graciously to other people.

Hopefully, Lenten discipline doesn't just help us see our weakness but it also refines our character, so in that sense it'd be nice if it would stick and last all year and I could become a less judgmental person. But, in the end, I think no one keeps the fast perfectly. Lent prepares us for Easter. So, we have a season where we see our frailty and are led to repentance and then we look to the hope of absolution. As the liturgy for Ash Wednesday says, "Thereby, the whole congregation [is] put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith."

trickywoo
02-25-2009, 11:20 PM
But then again, it may be kinda fun to tempt you. :tongue

Uh-oh. :)

CaroGirl
02-25-2009, 11:22 PM
Ha-ha. Yep, I'm pretty much guaranteed to fail, whether I call it a resolution or a Lenten discipline. I don't have a problem with it being similar to a resolution, though, because I think in Lent you are resolving to do something or give up something.

I think the idea is self-discipline and choosing something that helps you cultivate reflection. So, some years I have given up coffee (so sad) or desserts or TV or whatever. But this year I'm aiming for discipline of what I say. I think a fast isn't only what you give up as what you make space for. So, in the sense that you might give up TV to make space to listen to God more, or you might give up sweets to help remind you to hunger after God, or you might give up a meal to set aside time for prayer, or something like that, I want to give up criticism in order to learn how to speak graciously to other people.

Hopefully, Lenten discipline doesn't just help us see our weakness but it also refines our character, so in that sense it'd be nice if it would stick and last all year and I could become a less judgmental person. But, in the end, I think no one keeps the fast perfectly. Lent prepares us for Easter. So, we have a season where we see our frailty and are led to repentance and then we look to the hope of absolution. As the liturgy for Ash Wednesday says, "Thereby, the whole congregation [is] put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith."
Thanks for the explanation. Makes sense. I guess I didn't have any idea what Lent was really about. Thanks for being the Linus to my Charlie Brown.

trickywoo
02-25-2009, 11:29 PM
Thanks for the explanation. Makes sense. I guess I didn't have any idea what Lent was really about. Thanks for being the Linus to my Charlie Brown.

No problem. I think fasting kind of gets a bad rap, when it really has the potential to be beautiful. In the liturgy for Ash Wednesday we read from the book of Isaiah the Lord's words:

"Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke?

Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?"

Now wouldn't that be some kind of fast?

Jean Marie
02-26-2009, 12:32 AM
wow, some great stuff in this thread. I have to come back and read it, seriously. just dropped in to do a quick read, now off to go and walk the pups.

went for a nice walk before church and have just been wandering around. a friend of mine's ex-husband shot himself yesterday, so it's been extra reflective, today. lots of praying for her and wondering what life's about, in general. makes me wonder why. I lost the dearest friend in the world the same a few months back, October, to be exact. he was like my little brother, the one I would have chosen. I prayed for him, today. I hope he's ok.

makes me think we ought to be kinder to each to other, all the time, not just during tragedies or down times.

bravo, you're a kick :D never change, please!

SherryTex
02-26-2009, 01:17 AM
Some great ideas here.

Going on a News fast. No, I'm not becoming willfully uninformed, I'm just recognizing that I spend an inordinate amount of time perusing the political sites --Politico, Real Clear Politics, The Hill, Drudge, New York Times and Washington Post.

I know I'm a news junkie and that giving it up will be a sacrifice and remind me to be more present with the people who actually are present, and less worked up about what I have no control over. So I'm fasting from certain forms of media that are so easy and accessible that I have trouble limiting myself. I get to read the paper at the end of the day or watch the news, but having the TV or radio on all day is out, and the web sites are also off limits, and that includes P&CE --I already miss it.

Lent is a time of sublimation of the spirit, it's not about chocolate or wine or television, it's about creating space for God by willfully denying one's self something, or by positively chosing something to do to honor God. In our house, we try to do a positive and a negative resolution, something we will do, and something we give up.

My positive resolution is to exercise, since that's what I often skip by surfing the web.:D