Friday, February 19, 2010

I Love Lent....Because I Love Me Some Fish Sandwiches

So it is that time of the year again…..time to celebrate Lent. HOLA!!

What does Lent mean? It means a time of reflection, sacrifice, self-denial, penitence, prayer, and giving me back my fillet-o-fish…give me that fish. (Seriously, fish sandwiches ROCK and so does that commercial)

The period of lent is very important, and getting in the proper frame of mind, body and soul to get ready for the Resurrection is very import. Part of the process involves doing away with certain vices we may have in our life....and I haves me many. As a Catholic it was always taught, though it is not mandatory (what something not mandatory in Catholicism?! GASP) that during Lent it is also good to either give something up or do something to help others as a way of sacrifice to help us prepare during this time of year.

As a kid I don’t think you really cared about the deeper meaning of giving something up it was just 40+ days without pop or candy or chocolate and no meat on Fridays. I am not saying that the understanding of what I was doing wasn’t there, but really it just seemed like nothing more than a pain in my catholic behind. Plus I would always try to give something up that I really didn’t want that much or something very specific, like I am giving up lime sherbert or starbursts.

As I got older I felt it was more important to do things during that time, like maybe actually go to church or volunteer. I also tried to do things like I will not curse or not be cynical. But shit, that felt like it was more of a chore than a real sacrifice so what was the point. So I stopped doing anything with Lent for awhile. See over the past few years I have really been questioning religion. Not so much my actual FAITH but behind all the incense smoke, kneeling, psalms, and stale bread I have wondered what my role in the Catholic church was and what I believed in and what I didn’t. I know I am suppose to believe certain things or feel certain ways and not questions the church, but WHY should I feel that and why shouldn’t I question my curch?! Plus I feel many of the rules of the Catholic Church are outdated and simply ridiculous.  And as much as I joke and question I am serious about my faith…I just don’t take every detail seriously.

So as I approach 30 I have begun to think about my faith, my religion and what I am really doing with it all. I realized that I will easily criticize and question things within the Catholic Church and I will also ask people numerous questions to try to help me figure everything out (see below). But shouldn’t I be trying to find out those answers on my own? And maybe I shouldn’t be criticizing without a full breathe of knowledge either. I mean, I haven’t even read the bible. Even in Catholic School it was never pushed to actually read the bible, we shouldn’t questions things but just obey. Riiiight. So a month ago I thought, as I try to figure out my religious path, maybe I should actually try reading the bible and then if I want to criticize it at least I will have the knowledge to back it up. See, always thinking.

So back to Lent, I am going to start reading the bible during the Lenten season. I also thought, as this is not really a vice that maybe I should give the giving something up thing another try….but actually give something up that isn’t easy and requires some sort of will power. So I am giving up brussel sprouts. NO, I kid. I am giving up all confectionary treats and pop. Ok, not kidding. This includes desserts of any kind as well as candy or anything that could be considered a sweet treat. I figured if I am going to do this then I need to do it right and go all in. Wish me luck.

On a side note: I actually made a pan of chocolate chip cookies Tuesday night when I decided to do something for Lent just so I could have some cookies before I gave them up for 40+ days. I am sure if Jesus had all the ingredients to make cookies for his last supper he would have done the same thing, however he didn’t because there was no flour. He had asked Peter three times to pick some up at the store but nothing. Dang-it Peter, I would have much rather be having chocolate chip cookies and wine at church than bread and wine. Whatever.

So does anyone give things up or do things for Lent? Thoughts in general on the season of Lent and giving stuff up? Hey, why not….how about even thoughts on your own feelings towards religion and finding your place?

Let it be known, I am SO open to different perspectives on religion and do not criticize someone else’s beliefs. I find people’s beliefs truly fascinating and want to learn about other’s religions and thoughts on religion and this is the one subject matter I don’t like to have any debate on.


  1. I LOVE that commercial too and sing that song forever after I hear it.

    Good luck on the giving up pop and sweets! I bet reading the Bible will be super interesting.

    I am going to try to go back to church a few times during lent. I have not been going and I wanted to try a few new options (new churches and not necessarily Catholic either).

  2. I don't know if you've read the book 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert but, i highly recommend it. Just read it recently and really enjoyed it. I love her take on spirituality. I am definatley a Christian and a Lutheran by affiliation but, i have to admit that i often look at things in a more supreme being overview than anything. GOD IS!

    Anyway, about Lent, am not giving up anything, but am trying to do my devotions daily and want to get to church every Sunday. We Lutherans have very similar traditions toward Lent and I too was raised to give things up. but, as i age i find, taking on new habits is sometimes better!

  3. Loved this post.

    1.) I laughed out loud about the part about Jesus not having any flour.

    2.) Yes, in the past I've given up various items for lent. One year, as a family, we gave up TV. It went really well. We ended up watching TONS less as soon as the 40 days were up, too. I've also given up pop.

    3.) I think it's part of who we are to question the existence of God. I'm less of a fan of "religion" and more of a fan of a "relationship" with God. I know some people consider it a weakness and a "crutch" to get some people through life - whatevs. I'll take a crutch. For me, life without faith? Not a good thing.

    Good luck on the avoidance of confectionary goods.