Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Spirituality
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:53 pm
Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
Sailor Kenshin Sailor Kenshin is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: August 29, 2007
Posts: 9,731
Religion: Anti-marxist
Default Has Lent lost its meaning?

Ever since I became Catholic (not all that long ago), I've seen both lay people and officials of the church on television and the internet urge prayer, penance, and sacrifice, year-round.

This year, on Ash Wednesday, I didn't see anyone in the street [who wore ashes] apart from those just leaving the church. No one asked about the ashes. This is unusual. People have asked, in the past.

I've heard people claim to go through the entire 40 days of Lent on nothing but bread and water. Then they raise an eyebrow at you and say, "What are YOU giving up?"

If you're praying, doing penance, and sacrificing daily, what more are you supposed to do for Lent? Cut off your head?

I'm not a good person, never saw myself as such, can't ever be worthy of the sacrifice of Christ. Yet I was really eager to enter the Church, and was in fact afraid I would be turned away. I wasn't! I remember how happy I was to get my first Ashes for my first Lent, and I wanted to learn all I could about my new faith.

Gradually I began to feel as though were supposed to live as a 4th-century cloistered mystics, and that I would never measure up.

Where does regular, everyday life come in if it's supposed to be all-sacrifice, all the time?

If everything is of equal urgency---nothing is. And you begin to suspect that something is out of whack.

I'm pretty sure I haven't expressed this at all well.

Thoughts?
__________________
Watch this space for further developments.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Feb 24, '12, 2:50 pm
mashie's Avatar
mashie mashie is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2012
Posts: 17
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Has Lent lost its meaning?

Here's my two cents worth sailor(and I've been a catholic for a lot less time than you )

Lent to me should be a very personal journey. Lent,in my mind, is about becoming closer to God. We all get there in our own manner.

But the people who hold up their penance/sacrafice and say look at me, look at me. Well I guess they've received their reward haven't they?

I feel Lent has not lost its meaning. The last two years have been the best Lenten "Seasons" for me ever. And not coincidentally the last two Lents are when I have been becoming a Catholic and now am a Catholic. It doesn't hurt that I married my soul mate during this time and we are on the journey together!

Anyway that's my 2 cents.

Mashie
__________________
Tiber Swim Team 2011.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Feb 25, '12, 4:53 pm
Luna Lovecraft's Avatar
Luna Lovecraft Luna Lovecraft is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: December 16, 2011
Posts: 2,334
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Has Lent lost its meaning?

My

Lent should be a personal spiritual journey, not a religiosity contest or a holier-than-thou arms race. We're always going to encounter people who will claim to be giving up more, doing with less, or praying harder than we are. And that's fine; let them live for 40 days on a handful of crumbs and a glass of water. Their penance doesn't make your journey any less significant or you any less of a Catholic.

And an observation from a lifelong Catholic: ashes don't remain visible for long on certain skin types. I've got really oily skin, and there have been years that the ashes have disappeared from my foreheard less than an hour after they were applied. But that doesn't take away from the fact that they were there in the first place.

Luna
__________________
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Feb 25, '12, 5:19 pm
MS_SURVEYOR MS_SURVEYOR is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2011
Posts: 10,363
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Has Lent lost its meaning?

I've been Catholic all my life. Drifted for a very long time. I came back last Ash Wednesday. I had a very strong Lent last year. This Ash Wednesday I was back, but lo and behold my wife who is Baptist was there with me. WOW! We both went to the Stations Of The Cross last night. After we had a baked fish meal at the church. Then watched a video, Catholicism Series by Fr. Robert Barron! We both left there with a wonderful feeling of fulfillment. To us it doesn't matter what others are doing. It's what we are doing. As Jesus said,

Matthew 12:30

"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters."
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Feb 25, '12, 6:36 pm
timotheos timotheos is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2007
Posts: 937
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Has Lent lost its meaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
If you're praying, doing penance, and sacrificing daily, what more are you supposed to do for Lent? Cut off your head?
Hey, Sailor Kenshin, if you are doing this daily you are doing pretty well; no need to go "overboard" (pardon the pun).

There is some pretty good advice here. It's not just about sacrifice. Even Jesus, when quoting Deuteronomy, said "Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that issues forth from the mouth of God". A lot of people focus on the bread part (ie. sacrifice), but the better Lenten activity is to selectively detach from one specific thing that keeps us from getting to know and trust God more deeply, and then try to get our nourishment from him instead.
__________________
"Only he can believe who is willing to believe" - Fr. John Laux, M.A.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Feb 27, '12, 11:42 am
Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
Sailor Kenshin Sailor Kenshin is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: August 29, 2007
Posts: 9,731
Religion: Anti-marxist
Default Re: Has Lent lost its meaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna Lovecraft View Post
[font=Century Gothic][size=3]


And an observation from a lifelong Catholic: ashes don't remain visible for long on certain skin types. I've got really oily skin, and there have been years that the ashes have disappeared from my foreheard less than an hour after they were applied. But that doesn't take away from the fact that they were there in the first place.

Luna

Heeheee.... I have had to almost jackhammer them off. First, hand sani on a paper towel, followed by some form of cold cream. And a shower. Repeat in the morning.

Thanks, everyone. One local parish is running the Fr. Barron series; by coincidence, prior to seeing the responses, I 'bought' his book (for my phone) AND picked up a CD. He's got amazing insight.
__________________
Watch this space for further developments.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Feb 27, '12, 11:53 am
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 2010
Posts: 19,026
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Has Lent lost its meaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
Ever since I became Catholic (not all that long ago), I've seen both lay people and officials of the church on television and the internet urge prayer, penance, and sacrifice, year-round.

This year, on Ash Wednesday, I didn't see anyone in the street [who wore ashes] apart from those just leaving the church. No one asked about the ashes. This is unusual. People have asked, in the past.

I've heard people claim to go through the entire 40 days of Lent on nothing but bread and water. Then they raise an eyebrow at you and say, "What are YOU giving up?"

If you're praying, doing penance, and sacrificing daily, what more are you supposed to do for Lent? Cut off your head?

I'm not a good person, never saw myself as such, can't ever be worthy of the sacrifice of Christ. Yet I was really eager to enter the Church, and was in fact afraid I would be turned away. I wasn't! I remember how happy I was to get my first Ashes for my first Lent, and I wanted to learn all I could about my new faith.

Gradually I began to feel as though were supposed to live as a 4th-century cloistered mystics, and that I would never measure up.

Where does regular, everyday life come in if it's supposed to be all-sacrifice, all the time?

If everything is of equal urgency---nothing is. And you begin to suspect that something is out of whack.

I'm pretty sure I haven't expressed this at all well.

Thoughts?
Tell the sanctimonious ones that you are giving up suffering for Lent!

I saw TONS of people with ashes, but I run in Christian circles - I have friends who are Lutherans and Presbyterians and they give ashes too. The Episcopalians (Anglicans) also give ashes.

So your question is...? Why should you suffer even more for Lent when it seems Catholics are already doing penance year-round? How much more can anyone sacrifice? The people who only suffer on Christ's behalf are only getting half of the benefits...We should also add to our lives by reaching out to others, by adding service and charity. I think we can have a joyful Lent by expanding our love for Christ outward, not contracting into a miserable ball of deprivation.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Spirituality

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8451Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: suko
5142CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: tawny
4424Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3863SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2
3734Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: DesertSister62
3316Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3282Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3223Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Rifester
3107For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: flower lady



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 5:40 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.