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  #16  
Old Jan 23, '12, 9:17 am
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by billcu1 View Post
With lent coming upon us quickly I would like to know what is expected out of you. What are you supposesd to do. In the past I've just meditated on the stations. I've only been catholic for about 2-3 years now and never really got into lent.

Bill
My suggestion would be to take the time to get closer to God by focusing on his life and passion. Follow the rules of lent that the Church has put before us (fasting on Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday, and abstaining from meat on all Fridays and Ash Wednesday). Take up some "light" spiritual reading (like say read a bit on a different Saint each day) and truly take time to reflect and put yourself on a personal retreat for the time. You will be a better person because of it.
My prayers are with you as you begin (continue) the deepening of your understanding of our Faith!
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  #17  
Old Jan 23, '12, 6:42 pm
A Catholic A Catholic is offline
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by Luna Lovecraft View Post
During a Lenten homily last year our priest said something that resonated with me. He said that Lent shouldn't be about giving things up (chocolate, television, CAF ); rather, he said that it should be about doing more, serving more, finding ways to contribute more.

So, my 2012 Lenten challenge for myself is going to be just that - figuring out how I can go above and beyond and do more for somebody else.

Luna
I've heard this suggestion before, and I can understand where it is coming from. But I would respectfully disagree with the priest who gave this homily. I think this would only obscure the reason for Lent. Lent is about abstinence and self denial. It is about going into the desert and getting rid of anything that comes between you and God. We are mirroring the time when Christ went into the desert for 40 days. Christ gave up all physical comforts when he went into the desert - his home, family, friends, even food and water. We don't have to go that far, although I've heard of people who sleep on the floor during Lent as a mortification. Turning off the TV and other worldly pursuits is certainly an important part of going to the desert, although of course all of this is completely voluntary. The Church leaves it up to each of us to make our own personal decision regarding Lenten mortification.

By "doing more", we are not working on cleaning the debris and garbage out of our lives. But once we have gone into the desert and trimmed down spiritually, then it is time to do more, serve more, etc. just as Christ did when he came out of the desert.
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  #18  
Old Jan 23, '12, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Lent is typically a time to go to confession for those who don't go perhaps as often as they should.


-Tim-
I myself especially lately have been going to pennance more lately. I feel a strong communication of sorts after confession. Sometimes not immediately but later. I am trying how to figure out how to communicate with the holy spirit which I know is what it is. Without the sin block.

B
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  #19  
Old Jan 24, '12, 10:25 am
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Default Re: Lent

I am always looking forward to Lent! For me it is very much a period to draw closer to God, and I am always acutely aware of the approaching glorious Easter that lies at the end of it. Last year I was pregnant so fasting was a bit iffy, and this year I will be nursing, so fasting is again a bit iffy.
I will be giving up complaining. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I catch myself so often complaining about things like the weather, the fact that the guy in the car in front of me doesn't seem to understand what a turn signal is for, the high prices of necessities like milk and bread (and for me, coffee ) and whatnot. It's become an ugly habit, and one I would like to get rid of. Hopefully after 40 days of going without, that will be my new normal. Hey... one can hope, right?!
As to giving up something that I really like a lot, I will be giving up chocolate as well. That's going to be almost as tough as giving up complaining.
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  #20  
Old Jan 24, '12, 5:35 pm
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ByzCathCantor ByzCathCantor is offline
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Default Re: Lent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna Lovecraft View Post
During a Lenten homily last year our priest said something that resonated with me. He said that Lent shouldn't be about giving things up (chocolate, television, CAF ); rather, he said that it should be about doing more, serving more, finding ways to contribute more.
That's very nice guidance! In Eastern Christian tradition (Catholic and Orthodox), we would say it is not solely about "giving things up", although fasting and self-denial are integral to Lenten observance. We would also emphasize prayer and acts of charity, which together with fasting are the three Lenten disciplines.
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  #21  
Old Jan 24, '12, 6:10 pm
Richard320 Richard320 is offline
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Default Re: Lent

I do terrible at giving things up. Tried chocolate one year, but left myself an out; non-chocolate candy was okay. Lots of Payday bars and red licorice. And of course Sundays are feast days, so they don't count, so chocolate was okay on Sunday...

I find it better to increase devotions.

My former parish used to offer a second daily Mass M-Th at 6 PM through Lent.So I went to that one year. Fridays were Stations of the Cross. That's another worthwhile activity.

Another year I bought a Catechism. I figured out that it worked out to 15 pages a day on average, and I could read it all during Lent. Some days I read more, some less. A couple times a week I'd go to a neighboring parish that had a Perpetual Adoration Chapel, and read it there. Overall, it's some dry reading, but there are some good sections in there. And every Catholic ought to know what's in there, even if they can't quote it verbatim.

One year my wife and I decided we would pray the Rosary together every day. That was HARD! There were days we'd be out at something until late and come home, get in bed and turn out the light, and remember we hadn't prayed it yet. On with the light, another twenty minutes or so struggling to stay awake.

Ask your pastor for ideas. Our pastor suggested to the whole parish that we get a certain Lenten Reflections book. So we did, and every night after dinner, but before we cleared the table, we'd read today's reflection and discuss it.

If you do intend to "give up" something for Lent, common things are alcohol, sodas, chocolate, and the internet.

Don't forget that Fasting and Abstinence are in full force during Lent - Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Abstinence from meat on all Fridays - unless a feast day happens to land on a Friday. Remember: Feast beats Fast!

Lent is about renewal. I don't think it's just coincidental that it starts in the cold, dark Winter and ends in Spring.. Protestants have their tent revivals periodically; we have Lent. It's a time to resume the spiritual activities that we have let slide.
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  #22  
Old Jan 25, '12, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Lent

Fasting totally on ash wednesday and good friday. That would be hard to do. Would this be good for a diabetic?
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  #23  
Old Jan 25, '12, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by billcu1 View Post
Fasting totally on ash wednesday and good friday. That would be hard to do. Would this be good for a diabetic?
IIRC, those with medical conditions are exempt from fasting.
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  #24  
Old Jan 25, '12, 4:47 pm
Richard320 Richard320 is offline
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by billcu1 View Post
Fasting totally on ash wednesday and good friday. That would be hard to do. Would this be good for a diabetic?
The current definition of "fasting" by the USCCB is pretty generous. One full meal plus two snacks, provided they don't equal another meal.

But there are exceptions. Diabetics would be one of them. So would nursing mothers. Or if you have to take medication with food at prescribed intervals. Don't get all scrupulous about it! A lot of times I am busy at work, so I end up eating less on a normal day than I would be allowed on a fast day. "So, what?" you might ask.. So what is, sometimes just knowing you can't have something is what makes it a sacrifice. You'll go months, maybe years, without giving McDonalds a glance, but some Friday in Lent you'll have an incredible craving for a Big Mac.
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  #25  
Old Jan 25, '12, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by Luna Lovecraft View Post
During a Lenten homily last year our priest said something that resonated with me. He said that Lent shouldn't be about giving things up (chocolate, television, CAF ); rather, he said that it should be about doing more, serving more, finding ways to contribute more.

So, my 2012 Lenten challenge for myself is going to be just that - figuring out how I can go above and beyond and do more for somebody else.

Luna
The symbolism in giving something up is so you can "make room" for more from God, which makes one holier in their walk. It generally should be something that you feel might detract from focusing on God in any manner. For me, it's dipping. That's what I'll be giving up for Lent. Grizzly Wintergreen Long-Cut. Brown ambrosia in a can. It's what Lumberjack Jesus would chew, though I bet Copenhagen would love to bid that endorsement contract.

So, for at least the first week I'm going to be put in a situation where my mind and body want something, and I'm going to instead focus on God. After the initial attack of withdraw symptoms, I'll be focusing on defeating it purely in a mental manner via spiritual means.

Now, for the giving back portion, I'll put that money for dip in a jar, and at the end, offer that during the Easter service offertory.

Through sacrificing something selfish to focus on God, I'll then have more expendable money each month with which to provide for charitable causes, throw at debt (mine or others'), etc.

Mis dos centavos.
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  #26  
Old Jan 25, '12, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by garn9173 View Post
As a born again Catholic...
What is a 'born again Catholic'?
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  #27  
Old Jan 26, '12, 5:41 am
garn9173 garn9173 is offline
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by 1AugustSon7 View Post
What is a 'born again Catholic'?
I'm a revert, I like saying a "born again Catholic" over revert.
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  #28  
Old Jan 26, '12, 6:32 am
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Default Re: Lent

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Originally Posted by billcu1 View Post
Fasting totally on ash wednesday and good friday. That would be hard to do. Would this be good for a diabetic?
fasting totally if you mean no food at all is not and never has been the requirement. We are called on two days of the year to eat one meal with two smaller meals that don't add up to a full meal if needed. For diabetics the no-snacking rule can be one of the best ways to regulate blood sugar at all times, so would not be a problem as long as their 3 meals were properly balanced between protein, fat and low carb veggies. Diabetics, the elderly, pregnant and nursing women or anyone with a health condition that mitigates against fasting are not and never were obligated in any case.

a non-issue
and the question is never "what am I obligated to do" nor is it ever "what is the least I can do?" The question is always what will enable me to detach myself from sin and sinful habits, and from anything that is separating me from Christ, and what can I do to more closely identify with him in his passion and suffering so that I can more fully share in his glory at Easter.

the first reading for Ash Wed gives us the real deal, he does not want animal sacrifices he wants a pure heart dedicated to him.
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  #29  
Old Jan 26, '12, 8:07 am
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Default Re: Lent

Last year was my first Lent. I happened to buy a book, not for Lent, but it was perfect for Lent and I'm going to read it again this year. The School of Jesus Crucified


It has many different readings, but a large portion is comprised of 31 meditations taking you through the Passion. Really awesome and I can't recommend this book highly enough. In fact, I bought a copy for my mom who's a pentacostal and my Priest.
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  #30  
Old Jan 26, '12, 8:29 am
Fone Bone 2001 Fone Bone 2001 is offline
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Default Re: Lent

Quote:
Originally Posted by billcu1 View Post
With lent coming upon us quickly I would like to know what is expected out of you. What are you supposesd to do. In the past I've just meditated on the stations. I've only been catholic for about 2-3 years now and never really got into lent.

Bill
It is a time of penance and purification. Many people give something up to discipline themselves, although it's at least as good an idea to do the opposite: add some additional prayer, or penitential work, or charitable work, to your life regularly. Or do as many of these as you can.

I assume from the fact that you list yourself as "Roman Catholic" that you are in the Latin Church. In that case, there are also some (very few) fasting and abstinence obligations that are binding under pain of sin. You probably already know them, but just in case you don't:

You must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, which means no more than one normal meal. You can, however, have a small bite to eat at two other times on those days if necessary. But remember: only one full meal on those days.

You must abstain from meat (although fish and dairy products are allowed) on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday.

Of course, I'm assuming you live in the United States. The rules might be stricter or more lenient if you live elsewhere.

Anyway, that's the bare minimum. But as others have said, Lent is a great time to go big or go home: increase your prayer life; perform regular penitential acts; seek out opportunities to perform acts of charity; etc. You might even try abstaining and/or fasting on more days than are required, too.

Also, there are some days in Lent which it makes sense to treat as celebrations/solemnities rather than penitential days: the Sundays of Lent, March 19 (the Solemnity of Saint Joseph), and March 25 (the Solemnity of the Annunciation). On years when March 19 or March 25 is a Friday, even the abstinence obligation is lifted entirely.
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