Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"aww..Religious people and their wacky traditions"

I thought I would offer up a very short and concise entry about Lent and the Catholic views...Last year, Stacey asked me a couple questions about Lent and I wasn't entirely sure how to answer. The title of the post "aww...Religious people and their wacky traditions" also steamed me up a little bit. This is what someone commented on my status on Facebook about me giving up Facebook for Lent. (Sorry for those who don't use Facebook, you are probably clueless to what I just said) I felt the small need to defend my beliefs I guess. Since becoming a member of our church, St. Michaels, I guess you could say that I have taken more of an interest in the church and becoming more in tune with prayer and faith. Whether that be St. Michael's influence or the life stages that I am going through, I am not entirely sure.

1) What is Lent?
A period of 40 days beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Thursday.

2) What are the ashes all about on Ash Wednesday?
The ashes come from the burnt palms from last year's Palm Sunday. They are placed upon our foreheads to remind us of our mortality and the renewal of life that comes with celebrating Lent.

3) Why do people give things up?
Giving something up for Lent shows that we are able to sacrifice something that is of "habit". The goal is not to just abstain from it for the Lenten period but to eliminate it from our lives forever if it is considered sinful.

4) What are you supposed to do during Lent?
There are three areas that you are supposed to be particularly mindful of during Lent.

Prayer-being prayerful especially for those being baptized and brought into the church and for a renewal of faith.

Fasting and Abstinence- Ash Wednesday, Friday's during Lent, Good Friday are recognized as days of fasting and abstinence. Fasting is eating only one meal a day or two very small meals. Fasting shows that we are able to realize the suffering for those people who are in poverty and hungry. Abstinence from eating meat is strongly encouraged though not required for all people...anyone under 18 and those with diet restrictions, and I think elderly too.

Why meat? "Back in the day", meat was something that was not available and many poor people still today do not have the access to meat. Eating fish or "light meals" again demonstrates symbolism to empaththize with those less fortunate.

Almsgiving-Simply giving to others less fortunate. This can be done by donating your time for volunteerism, donating clothes to the needy or donating money to feed the poor. Giving to those less fortunate is an expression to show our appreciation of the things God has given to us.

Okay, so that is my little list of what I really wanted to lay out there...I am obviously no scholar when it comes to this stuff. There are many parts of Lent that are debatable depending on who you talk to. Some say that Lent ends on Easter Sunday and then others say it ends on Holy Thursday. There are more in depth answers too that I didn't really feel like I needed to get into. Most obviously, everything is tied back to Christ and His sacrafices and sufferings for us.

So....what did I give up for Lent? I gave up Facebook. I would say that I am borderline addicted to it. Whether it is considered sinful I am not sure...I hope that Fr. Borowiak doesn't read my blog because he probably would find something wrong with Facebook. Erin gave up eating out. I do not really like this because I told him that pregnant people need to eat out. He told me that he would come and sit with me somewhere if I felt the need to go out and eat....he just wouldn't eat anything. Sure, pregnant girl with cravings chowing down as her husband just sits and watches....nice.

0 tidbits of your thoughts: