Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of 40 days and 40 nights of Lent for many Christians. What are you giving up? Or more importantly, what are you going to do?
The three things I heard this week to do for the Lenten season were fast on Ash Wednesday and Fridays, carve out more time for daily prayer, and do good works.
Yes, I’m hungry, and probably will be every Friday, craving a fat juicy steak that I’d normally not care about. It’s a funny thing when you can’t have something, you fixate on it.
Second, I will find time to pray more. If you believe that prayers make a difference in this world, then more prayer is a good idea.
Third, there is the part about doing good works. I think that is most difficult of all. Off the top of my head I don’t know what “good works” I can do. However, I am confident that if I keep my eyes open and look around me, I’ll see small ways where I can make a difference.
I’d like to know what you are doing for Lent. What good works are you going to do?
Here are two heartfelt stories I read several years ago. I hope you enjoy reading them and appreciate those close to you!
One of my daughter’s good friends from her club swim team gives up social media each year for Lent. I’ve been reading all these stories about how Facebook is causing stress and anxiety in young people, and I applaud this friend for taking a break each year.
I mentioned to both my kids that I thought I should give up social media for Lent as well. Their overwhelming response was “Great!” and “Thank goodness!” I have decided to give up Facebook because I am beginning to believe that if social media is causing young people distress, is it that good for us older folks? I’m going to continue to blog and my posts show up automatically on FB, and I will continue with that. But, I’m going to make a conscious effort to really connect with my friends live. I’m going to call and talk, visit in person and hey—one of my favorite things—go out to lunch!
It’s going to be an interesting experiment and I’ll let you know how it goes. Perhaps it will free up more time for my writing! I mentioned to my daughter that I still want to use Twitter because it’s where I get my news. I like to see what’s “trending.” She’s telling me that if I give up social media, I need to go all the way!
I’m a convert to Catholicism and I really knew very little about the faith and I had no clue what Lent was until I took a nine-month course called Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). I did this after my son was born and before I had my daughter. My husband and I wanted to raise our kids with religion, but he was Catholic while I was Protestant. We visited several churches to see where we felt at home. I believed we needed to be on the same page if we were going to raise our kids with religion, so I signed up for RCIA. I was totally moved by our former pastor and the church we decided to join.
Exactly what is Lent? I found an article called “When does Lent 2018 start? Key dates, how long it lasts and the meaning behind the Christian tradition” that explains it pretty well on the mirror.com. Here are the basic facts:
Here’s everything you need to know about the beginning of Lent, when it ends, Christian prayers and fasting as the tradition is marked between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday
When does Lent begin?
For Western churches Lent begins every year on Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday .
This year it begins on February 14.
The date varies from year to year, starting in either late February or early March.
However, for Eastern Orthodox churches it begins on Clean Monday (February 19 this year), two days before Western churches.
What is Lent?
Lent takes place every year in the 40 days leading up to Easter, and is treated as a period of reflection and a time for fasting from food and festivities.
It symbolises the days which lead up to Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, when Christ spent 40 days and nights alone in the Judaean Desert being tempted by Satan.
Hanging out with real live friends at last year’s Masters swim meet.
What are your thoughts about taking a break from social media?