Giving up something for Lent (Only to totally overindulge & pig out afterwards)

I keep reading and hearing of people giving up something for Lent (Chocolate, alcohol, coffee, TV etc), then they go beserk once Lent is over, totally overindulging. Is this a valuable spiritual exersise or a total waste of time? I’ll admit, I’ve done the same thing. :o

It would be better if when you resume it, you resume in normal quantities. If the item given up is harmful,such as smoking, it is better to resume (if at all) a reduced levels and thus improve your quality of life.

This is not always the case. The idea is to give something up to make yourself a better person. Not necessarily chocolate but being uncharitable, impatient, etc. maybe you do eat to much sugar so you give it up, your body does eventually adjust and after lent you just celebrate for the great Easter celebration. It does not necessarily mean that people go back to eating sugar like they did before. I give up eating between meals and do try to continue after lent is over.

I think I’ll try and do something more positive this year. Afterall, I don’t really have a problem with overeating, overdrinking, etc. I don’t see the point in giving up coffee. I like the idea of reading a chapter of the Bible everyday, or something like that. Maybe I’ll give up talking about my co-workers who drive me batty too. I think I’m too prone to venting… :rolleyes:

I would recommend that whatever you choose to do for Lent (adding something or giving up something), it helps you in some area where you need improvement and try to let it carryover after to Lent. You should be a better Christian after Lent than you were before.

[quote=spiritblows]I keep reading and hearing of people giving up something for Lent (Chocolate, alcohol, coffee, TV etc), then they go beserk once Lent is over, totally overindulging. Is this a valuable spiritual exersise or a total waste of time? I’ll admit, I’ve done the same thing. :o
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or how about the opposite, pigging out and partying to the extent of an orgy before Lent begins, like in the Mardi Gras or Carnivale tradition?

[quote=asquared]or how about the opposite, pigging out and partying to the extent of an orgy before Lent begins, like in the Mardi Gras or Carnivale tradition?
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In all the years of growing up I never heard of the Mardi Gras and the Carnivale traditions being actually associated with Lent or Catholic’s for that matter.
:o Last year the priest asked me to add something in the intentions about the Carnivale and he had to explain what it was to me. Now I do know that some Catholic’s participate in this, many in Mexico but am unsure of how many Catholic’s actually participate in Mardis Gras.
I am glad my parents brought us to Station’s of the Cross every week for all those years and never told us of these disgusting parties. I did not even know that fat tuesday was associated with Lent till about ten years ago.

[quote=spiritblows]I keep reading and hearing of people giving up something for Lent (Chocolate, alcohol, coffee, TV etc), then they go beserk once Lent is over, totally overindulging. Is this a valuable spiritual exersise or a total waste of time? I’ll admit, I’ve done the same thing. :o
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Unless I am mistaken this is the point. You give up something you will greatly miss for a period of time. It only makes sense that you will desire it all the more after the period of sacrifice is over.

I have wondered about just the opposite. If someone gives up, lets say chocolate and they reap some other benefits (other than the sacrifice itself) such as desired weight loss, doesn’t that take away from the scarifice?

IMO a true sacrifice would be a sacrifice that reaped no rewards beyond the sacrifice itself. Not sure I am being clear so I’ll try to use a example to illustrate. Let’s say you loved to go bowling on tuesday nights. If you gave up this activity for lent and gave the money you saved from lane rentals to charity, that woulld be pure sacrifice.

no?

[quote=Toni]In all the years of growing up I never heard of the Mardi Gras and the Carnivale traditions being actually associated with Lent or Catholic’s for that matter.
:o Last year the priest asked me to add something in the intentions about the Carnivale and he had to explain what it was to me. Now I do know that some Catholic’s participate in this, many in Mexico but am unsure of how many Catholic’s actually participate in Mardis Gras.
I am glad my parents brought us to Station’s of the Cross every week for all those years and never told us of these disgusting parties. I did not even know that fat tuesday was associated with Lent till about ten years ago.
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americancatholic.org/Features/MardiGras/

[quote=Mijoy2]Unless I am mistaken this is the point. You give up something you will greatly miss for a period of time. It only makes sense that you will desire it all the more after the period of sacrifice is over.

I have wondered about just the opposite. If someone gives up, lets say chocolate and they reap some other benefits (other than the sacrifice itself) such as desired weight loss, doesn’t that take away from the scarifice?

IMO a true sacrifice would be a sacrifice that reaped no rewards beyond the sacrifice itself. Not sure I am being clear so I’ll try to use a example to illustrate. Let’s say you loved to go bowling on tuesday nights. If you gave up this activity for lent and gave the money you saved from lane rentals to charity, that woulld be pure sacrifice.

no?
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Yes, there’s a point. I think some might give up chocolate with the vain aspiration of improving their appearance. But, on the other hand, temperance and Godly living often have their own rewards. Living a well ordered life is good for us. So, if someone loses 10 pounds over Lent, they’ll find out that restraining their carnal desires reaps benefits for themselves. They’ll feel better and be a more shining light to others for the rest of the year! :slight_smile:

[quote=spiritblows]I keep reading and hearing of people giving up something for Lent (Chocolate, alcohol, coffee, TV etc), then they go beserk once Lent is over, totally overindulging. Is this a valuable spiritual exersise or a total waste of time? I’ll admit, I’ve done the same thing. :o
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Yep. I plan to give up alcohol for lent. And after lent, rather than binging on it again. The goal will be to use it in restricted amounts. Binging after lent is not a “given”.

Two questions:

  1. Is it alright to abstain from a habitual sin that you do with the ultimate goal of no longer doing that sin. Does giving up something that you should normally not do anyways count?

  2. If I were to give up alcohol or gambling, because Spring Break falls right in the middle of Lent, could I not abstain that week. the list of things I am willing to give up is going to be incredibly reduced if the answer is no. Not my fault colleges don’t choose to go along with Easter like my high school used to do. Back in the day it was easy. I could give video games up and then have all of Easter Vacation to play them.

[quote=wjp984]Two questions:

  1. Is it alright to abstain from a habitual sin that you do with the ultimate goal of no longer doing that sin. Does giving up something that you should normally not do anyways count?.
    [/quote]

Some times it takes small steps to overcome some of our faults and yes God looks at the heart and the sacrifice.

We don’t give up things because we have to but because we want to make those sacrifices. No where is it written that you have to give up things for forty days straight. If you want to do this the simple way and are inclined to say if I can’t drink and do what I want during spring break number 1 where is the sacrifice in that. Christ never went up on the mountain and said oh its Sunday I need to eat today or I am tired so today I am not going to make this sacrifice. It is out of love that we do these things not out of obligation. If you want it simple do what I do for the kindergarteners. Make a calendar of forty days and every day write something you will do as a sacrifice. But please do it out of love not obligation. CHRIST LOVES THE CHEERFUL GIVER! (But the sin give up with your other things)

I’ve found by “giving something up” I’m actually making room for something better. When I deny myself chocolate for example, and I feel that urge for a dark chocolate morsel, I use it as a reminder to say a brief prayer or reflect on my weaknesses. It gives you something to build upon.

With regards to giving these up for Lent, we most remeber we are doing it as a penetinal doing. Meaning we are offering up that sacrafice to God. After Lent is over you should proably try to do things in moderation. For example, most of the time when you give something up, it is because the thing is taking over you. So say you give up T.V. because you know you watch it to much. Well when Easter has come, Lent should have been a Penentinal time but also a time where you learn that TV is not everything and should go back to watching it in moderation. If I may suggest something. Maybe instead of giving up something, maybe you could do something postive, like make an effort to go to Daily Mass or say the daily rosary or do a hidden act of charity every day. Good Luck & God Bless!

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