Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lent on my Mind

Although I am an Orthodox Christian now, I was raised as a Roman Catholic.  For lent, we were always encouraged to "give up" something.  My understanding was that we were "giving up" something as a sacrifice for all Jesus had sacrificed for us.  While that is somewhat true, what I have learned after coming to the Orthodox Church is that lent is a time for us to withdraw (of sorts) from our earthly world and focus more on our spiritual world.  Most Orthodox Christians I know observe fasting... fasting from meat, meat products (milk, cheese, eggs, etc), fish, and oil. Before I had a clear understanding of the importance of the fast, I participated in lent the "catholic way."  My first year I gave up Oprah, the next year I gave up watching soap operas (I know!).  What I found was that the things I gave up were distracting me from my walk with God.  I was given so much more than I "gave up."

So this year, I'm preparing to participate in the fast.  This week is preparation for the weeks of lent ahead.  During this week, Orthodox Christians abstain from meat.  Monday begins the Orthodox fast.  So while I am participating in the fast, I will also be "giving up" something as well.  There are so many things that distract me from my walk... so where do I begin finding "that thing" that will have the most impact.  Well, prayer is where I find "that thing."  So this year there are 3 (LOL) things that I have been convicted to practice... I will be "giving up" going out to eat during the week (although this means I'll be spending more time cooking, I have found that cooking actually consumes less of my time overall than going out to eat), I will be giving up "sleeping in" during the week as well (this means that I'll be setting the alarm clock and making sure I start my day before my kids are in full force... ooohh that one's going to be tough) and I will put a very strict limit on my internet time(ouch!).  But I know that if I am faithful in this pursuit, that God will bless me beyond measure (who knows... maybe He'll even let me win the Night Out with the Stars...LOL!!!)

Okay, so what about you?  If you are Orthodox, do you participate in the fast?  Do you "give something up" to spend more time with God?  If not, is there something you feel God asking you to do this lent in addition to the fast?  If you are Catholic, what do you do to spend more time with God during lent?  And if you are someone who doesn't DO lent, why not... just because your faith may not participate in a lenten fast doesn't mean you can't...  

I would love to hear your lenten thoughts.

In love and recovery,

1 comment:

Pres. Kathy said...

As an Orthodox Christian, I first give up the food, of course. This is the easy part. I try to pray more frequently, especailly the Jesus Prayer during the day. I also try to attend all the services offered during Lent. The last thing I find myself doing is not bothering with tv. I read a religious book instead. I really enjoy it. May God bless us all and give us strength this lenten season.