Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Happy Ash Wednesday!

Happy beginning of Lent! I haven’t even thought of “giving up” much of anything for this Lent, to be perfectly honest about this (and we should be perfectly honest, even though we’re imperfect, capisce?). But I am seriously considering actually trying to observe the old-fashioned 40-day fast that my mother’s generation got used to. That'll be sacrifice enough, even if I only manage it part of the time! We’re pretty soft nowadays—we only need to observe a “real” fast on two days out of Lent, and abstain from meat on a few more. But when I was growing up, my parents were obligated to fast all weekdays of Lent…and I think I remember a lot more meatless days in there, too. My only problem is that I do verge on low blood sugar problems, so I can’t get too enthused about this fasting thing or I start to get this other, lightheaded thing. But today’s going well so far, I’m not obsessing on food (although I can’t promise that I won’t be reallyreallyreally looking forward to a fairly decent sized dinner this evening!)… ...and I’ve already been warned not to give up both chocolate and wine, as I did during one noble year. Apparently, I got a bit more feisty that season than anyone has a right to be. (!) Anyhow, be sure to pay attention to those ashes. And I love the fact that our priest says the old-fashioned admonition,”Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” After years of the more “modern” version (something along the lines of “turn from sin and embrace the Gospel”)—which sounded for all the world like it was written by someone more concerned about our self-esteem than self-sacrifice—it’s nice to have the “old rugged” version in mind during this special season. So for Day #1, think dust…ashes…and “Long Live God!” What’s your favorite part of Lent? Janny

1 comment:

Deb said...

Warning: non-Catholic Lent comments follow.

Okay, you been warned. My favorite part of Lent, as a Christian of the Pentecostal stripe? FISH!

More fish! I love fish! My Lutheran hospital accomodates everyone by serving many more varieties of wonderful fish than at other times in the year. I eat all of it except tuna (yuck), so this is delight-season for me.

For us, Lent is significant but perhaps less public. Our church encourages fasting, at all times of the year. Though not available to me (diabetes), many if not all of my buddies fast, usually when in intensive prayer regarding some special need.

I like the idea of jettisoning something I like, during Lent. It helps remind me our Savior sacrificed everything for us.