Monday, February 20, 2012

What are you giving up for Lent?

Whenever my priest husband gets asked this question, there is this little gleam in his eye. I know what he is going to say in response, "I'm not giving anything up!" He'll wait a beat or two to allow the questioner's mouth to gape open a bit, scandalized that such a faithful priest wouldn't give something up for the Great Fast.

Then he will continue to answer the question in full. "During Lent we are trying to unite ourselves to Christ and His passion through fasting, charitable works and increased prayer, so I'm going to _______ during these forty days. How do you feel called to observe this time?" And then, the questioner usually says something about giving up chocolate. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with giving up chocolate. Renouncing a favorite food can be a really effective reminder of which season we are in- rather like a rubber band around the wrist that one uses for behavior modification. It's just important to keep the focus on Christ and trying to be more like Him. Besides following my rite's guidelines for the fast and increased prayer, I am trying to DO more this season- like bring out the sewing machine to work with the girls or color with and read more to the little ones. As a 'lazy, low-energy introvert,' it will be a challenge to do these positive things when practical cooking and cleaning is calling my name, but they are important. 


  1. For this year's sacrifice, I have decided to forgo caffeine. This is a HUGE deal for me as I have been incredibly fatigued lately. However, I want to sacrifice something I think necessary to my day and therefore a real sacrifice. Also, we are going vegetarian four days per week. We aren't Byzantine Rite so we are only "required" to go meatless on Ash Wed, and all Fridays, but I like the idea of sacrificing meat more often. One year, before kids, we did go meatless for all of Lent. Now with the kids, we feel this is a good compromise. I do have some very picky eaters. We'll see...maybe we can do more days.

    I am also excited to embark on reading two new books for Lent: Interior Freedom by Fr. Jaques Phillipe and The Mystery of Easter (Lent/Easter Reflections) by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa.

    I'm still fleshing out a few things for my spiritual life.

    Looking forward to seeing some of your yummy recipes!

  2. I know that when I see that gleam in the eye of one of my family clergy peeps, it's seldom a good thing. :)

  3. If I were PH, I would say, "I'm giving up crossing myself every time the Trinity is mentioned" or something really OUT there. Just for the shock value. But I'm a know what ;-)

    Funny you bring up chocolate. I mentioned that on someone's blog yesterday as an example, saying that it's totally OK to give up chocolate or a certain TV show. But it's more about what you'll do with that extra 1/2 hr or 1 hr a week. Can you pray? Read Scripture? Volunteer your time? As for the chocolate, how about donating the money you would have spent on your daily/weekly fix and give that to charity? Or, every time you feel the urge to have a piece, pray instead.


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