the lenten journey.

so tomorrow marks the beginning of the season of lent. this is a liturgical time (or time of worship) of fasting and praying, for the forty days that precede easter (well actually it’s more than 40 days, but you don’t count sundays). traditionally, there are three practices, or ‘justices’ taken up: justice towards God (prayer), justice towards self (fasting), and justice towards neighbor (this is referred to as ‘almsgiving’, which is like charitable giving).

now, my thought on this is…shouldn’t we be praying, fasting and charitably giving ALL the time?

i’ve been learning a lot about liturgy and the tradition behind ash wednesday, clean monday, passion sunday, spy wednesday…etc., and it continues to amaze me at the things people “give up” for lent.

soda. alcohol. tv. certain websites (facebook anyone?). as the great jacob vanhorn once said, “bro, if you need to give that up for forty days because it’s an idol in your life, maybe you need to think about giving it up all together.” and as the even greater CHRISTIE vanhorn once said (in the context of talking to her friend about lent), “maybe you should do something for someone else that requires a sacrifice on your part, and not make it about you.”

i think those are both such good points (and…reason 23423 that team vanhorn continues to rock my face off. i have absolutley no face left for REAL!) with this idea of incorporating justice towards God, self, and your neighbor. and maybe lent is a good time of year to refocus on these things, ultimately incorporating them into our daily rhythms.

it’s crazy to think that back in the day…people would fast from all any all animal products and only eat a small meal at sundown, containing no meat (obviously) and no alcohol. there were some variations on this, for example, some places allowed fish and others ended the daily fast at 3pm, but you get the idea. i wonder how many of us could do this today?? i don’t want to. i’m just being honest. maybe this makes food an idol? WOW!

ok. let me hear your thoughts now, and what, if anything, you are doing to celebrate lent.

thanks for reading.

ps you can listen to some lent podcats here.

5 thoughts on “the lenten journey.

  1. i really like the idea of doing something for others each day.

    i mean, because i’m super awesome and have no idols to even give up…except twitter.

    great thoughts once again.

    i was thinking about writing an encouraging note/letter each day to someone different. i can’t remember the last time i sat down and wrote a letter.

  2. Your blog has inspired me, particulary your suggestion to do something for another. Therefore, for Lent this year I promise to prank you every day until Easter. Some pranks may include, but not be limited to, stealing your purse, sugar in your gas tank, gluing your hand to your face, writing things in a non-erasable marker on your forehead, leaving inappropriate materials at your desk at work, saying that i’m going to write a children’s book and hire you as my agent only to turn around end up not doing it, infect you with salmonella, introduce you to Octo-mom, accuse you of murder to the police, etc etc.

  3. Emma~ I was reading one of the Daily Homily’s. It was great, it was written by the Pope and it talked on the purpose behind the fasting during the lenten season. The beautiful thing was reading that is has never been intended to be the giving up of something that is an idol or has control in your life or is sinful. It is giving up something that will serve as a reminder of what was given to us. The second part of the Homily said during lent you are to give up something as well as start something. He spoke of examples including volunteering at the Parish, attending church daily, finding children who could use a mentor, etc. It was so refreshing to be reminded that lent is just one more way God has allowed Himself to be glorified.

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