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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

Saint Augustine of Hippo is considered on of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time and the Doctor of the Church.
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Feb 3rd 2013 new

Western society, especially modern Western Society has gotten too wusssie.

Two Lents ago I attended a talk at Church about how Lent used to be celebrated in some countries, like in the olden, OLDEN days. Basically a lot like Ramadan.

So, as with those two Lents, this one will be milk, meat and luxery food items free. As always it will be hard, long winded and filled with cravings for bacon. :(

I do find it interesting, that a lot of people "give up" things they shouldn't be doing anyway, like swearing. People can live without sweets and cake. I can forgo cake and lollies for longer if I'm on a diet! I also look forward to the customary posts from my friends of: "I'm giving up FB for Lent". I find that so strange. I use FB to connect with friends and family off shore due to time zones and toll calls being too expensive to navigate. How can giving up a method of communication, which might be your only communication with some family/friends be a worth while endeavour? How does that increase your spiritual journey? I'm interested in people's explanations.

Over all, I found it spiritually rewarding. I recommend people try it. Yeah, its hard, there were a few failures along the way, but its well worth it as it pushes you into a greater understanding of what Lent actually is.

Feb 3rd 2013 new

A priest friend of mine would agree with you, Naomi, that many people have gotten too "wussie" about Lent.

He bemoans the fact that people do "something more" INSTEAD OF giving something up.

Lent is supposed to be a time of self-denial.

Do something extra? Sure, but not at the expense of giving something up.

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Feb 3rd 2013 new

(Quote) Naomi-698107 said: I also look forward to the customary posts from my friends of: "I'm giving up FB for Len...
(Quote) Naomi-698107 said:

I also look forward to the customary posts from my friends of: "I'm giving up FB for Lent". I find that so strange. I use FB to connect with friends and family off shore due to time zones and toll calls being too expensive to navigate. How can giving up a method of communication, which might be your only communication with some family/friends be a worth while endeavour? How does that increase your spiritual journey? I'm interested in people's explanations.

--hide--

Some people spend so much time on FB that it takes over a large portion of their lives - the time they can use to do more productive things like reading, volunteering, etc. So giving it up for Lent serves to free them for these things (hopefully).

Feb 4th 2013 new

Thanks Alena for raising this topic. Now's the time to establish a good Lenten regimen.


Anyone looking for a Lenten devotion, please check out the prayer room. We're beginning a 54-day Rosary Novena on Ash Wednesday. CM members have been doing this for some years now. All are welcome. The daily rosary becomes alabor of love. Much grace comes to us through this devotion.


rosary



Feb 5th 2013 new

Hi Alena,

I generally do both. And, usually I am better at the doing than the giving up lol. But, I am going to try both again this year. One of the best things I've done, was when I was involved with the youth of our parish and we did the thirty hours of hunger retreats and raised money for hunger programs. When we first started it, the program was not geared specifically to Catholics, so we adapted it. Later, a Catholic version was also available. The kids got sponsors for the hours they went without food during the retreat and we sent the money to the first year we split it between the originating program and Catholic Relief.

One year my husband and I did the 40 Day Love Dare, which isn't Catholic in origin but is a fantastic exercise in what love is and should be. I found it quite enlightening and transforming. There are Catholic resources for this book now available as well. I participate in the Meager Meals we do on Friday's before Stations and make sure I go to Stations as well.

This year I am going to add visiting my mother more regularly, she lives about an hour from me.

Feb 5th 2013 new

(Quote) Alena-887599 said: One of the poll questions gave me the idea for this topic.When I was in grade school,...
(Quote) Alena-887599 said:

One of the poll questions gave me the idea for this topic.


When I was in grade school, the practice of giving something additional up for Lent was always stressed. (I always practice not eating meat on Fridays during Lent. What I am talking about is giving up something in addition to the "no meat" practice.) I understand the meaning for giving up something you like for Lent, like chocolate or goodies as a reminder of Christ's sacrifice and love for us.


When I got to college, though, after a couple of years of giving up sweets for Lent, I began to reflect on the "giving up" practice and realized that you can practice Jesus's teachings during Lent by DOING something more, like a novena (which I plan to do) or volunteering to help at a humanitarian organization.


Now, I'm not judging here, because obviously good changes may occur through "giving up" something for Lent as well. I'm wondering what you prefer and how you practice your faith during Lent? Do you give something else up in addition to meat OR do you do something else instead?

--hide--


I will be participating in the 40 days for life event again for lent; it starts right after Ash Wednesday and ends near Palm Sunday. Even though no one is usually there at the abortion clinic while praying, it is a worthwhile experience.

Feb 5th 2013 new

(Quote) Alena-887599 said: Now, I'm not judging here, because obviously good changes may occur through "giving ...
(Quote) Alena-887599 said:


Now, I'm not judging here, because obviously good changes may occur through "giving up" something for Lent as well. I'm wondering what you prefer and how you practice your faith during Lent? Do you give something else up in addition to meat OR do you do something else instead?

--hide--


Lenten practices traditionally consist of prayer (spiritual growth), fasting (ascetical practices such as "giving up something"), and almsgiving (putting our faith into action by giving of our time and resources).


Prayer - Select a devotion. Many of us are doing the 54-dasy rosary novena. But any devotion will do. It's especially good to work on increasing the time and frequency of mental prayer - i.e. talking to God in our own words. Another way to grow spiritually is to attend a retreat or parish mission or other program designed to help us grow spiritually. Youtube is packed with videos of good Catholic speakers. I strongly recommend Father Barron's "word on fire" website or his videos on youtube. Reading good books is also very helpful. "Reading has made many saints" (St. Josemaria Escriva).


Fasting - This means any ascetical practice. Because the object of such practices is to get us to mortify our will, it's always best to have someone else suggest a program of mortification. This way it's not our choice and our will. I had a friend who was vain about his appearance. His spiritual director recommended that at least one day each week he wear an outfit he found unacceptable. He couldn't dress like a buffoon, but it had to be something he felt diminished rather than improved his appearance. He said that was much more difficult and beneficial than abstaining from food for an entire day once a week (which was the mortification he wanted for himself). He said that had he fasted rather than humbled himself, he would have felt smug and triumphant. Instead, his "self" diminished and Christ increased.


Almsgiving - Any charity. Sure, we should write a check. But we can also give of ourselves. We don't have to volunteer at the food pantry or to feed the homeless. We can spend time with someone who's lonely. We can bear wrongs of co-workers and family more patiently, thanking God for this mistreatment and saying over and over "Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine." We can do our best not to get angry in traffic (bearing wrongs patiently). We can focus on our kids and/or elderly parents and REAALY love them by doing what they want/need.



Feb 7th 2013 new

Thank you all for your responses. They gave me alot to consider. I decided to join in the 54 day novena because I tend to not be always be consistent in prayer, so I thought it would be a great thing to do more deep prayer and spiritual reflection during Lent this year.

Feb 11th 2013 new
I recently started a book called The Little Way of Lent. It has daily readings and devotions for each day. I have only read the intro part because I want to wait to start the devotions on Wednesday, but so far I really enjoy and would recommend it. I think it gives me pause to think about Lent in ways I had not before.
Feb 12th 2013 new

Personally, I prefer doing both.


I don't eat meat on Fridays at all, so I go completely meatless for Lent. I'm trying to follow the traditional medieval fast this year, just to see if I can, so I'm basically going vegan for Lent.


But Lent is about fasting (ie. giving something up), alms-giving (good works), and prayer. So it's not enough to just do one of those and call it good. You're supposed to both give something up AND do something extra.


Try increasing your prayer life as well as giving something up. Do something for the good of the world, even if it's just random acts of kindness all Lent. But you have to make an effort.

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