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Switch to Forum Live View What Is Lent Good For?
6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 9:30AM #1
whirlinggal
Posts: 4,329

 


I know that some people and denominations don't acknowlege Lent or don't put much emphasis on it at all.


 


But I'm wondering--for people who do acknowledge Lent--


 


What exactly is it good for?


How does it affect you spiritually?


Do you feel that celebrating Lent differently than you do now might enhance your spirituality?


 


For those who don't commemorate Lent in any significant way--why not? Is it something you might want to explore in some way?


 


I was brought up in a highly religious house in which every aspect of the church calendar was adhered to faithfully.  I am still trying to figure out what effect such an upbringing has had on my own spiritual life.


 


Thanks in advance for feedback.


 

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 9:37AM #2
Jazel
Posts: 1,182

I was raised Roman Catholic, and to be honest, I never saw beyond the "penitence" aspect of Lent when I was a child.  I always associated Lent with the pain of sacrifice and fasting.


As I've grown older, however, I'm seeing it differently.  It's a wonderful time of Renewal for me now.  A time to remember why I'm a Christian and what it means to be a Christian.  Easter is the most joyous time of the year for me, and, for me at least, Lent is a way to prepare myself for that Joy.


It affects me spiritually in that I can make a concentrated effort to grow closer to Jesus.  There are times in the rest of the year that I might take him for granted - Lent is something to remind me not to do that.  If I could celebrate Lent differently, I would probably like to make an effort to not need a seasonal reminder, and instead practice the thoughtfulness of Lent all year round.


I probably have more thoughts on the matter, but that's the shorthand version:)


-Jim

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Marx
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 9:48AM #3
whirlinggal
Posts: 4,329

Jim,


 


Thanks for your feedback.


One of the reasaons I started this thread is that my own idea of what Lent is all about is changing slowly too.


 


I'm at the time in my life when with the deaths of both parents I am examining everything I was taught as "received fact."


Some of the underlying concepts about the religion I was brought up in are becoming much more obvious to me now.


 


With the death of my m om not too long ago I am coming to examine what the various aspects of our highly traditional and ethnic family religion means to me as opposed to what it meant to my mom and dad.


 


 


 


 

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 9:55AM #4
kollo
Posts: 4,064

 


Mar 17, 2009 -- 9:30AM, whirlinggal wrote:

For those who don't commemorate Lent in any significant way--why not? Is it something you might want to explore in some way?



It's amazing to be asked. Usually, Lent-keepers just tell us that we keep Lent! (And the rest.)

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 10:21AM #5
Jazel
Posts: 1,182

Mar 17, 2009 -- 9:48AM, whirlinggal wrote:


I'm at the time in my life when with the deaths of both parents I am examining everything I was taught as "received fact."


Some of the underlying concepts about the religion I was brought up in are becoming much more obvious to me now.


 With the death of my m om not too long ago I am coming to examine what the various aspects of our highly traditional and ethnic family religion means to me as opposed to what it meant to my mom and dad.


 



While my parents are both still alive, I think I know exactly where you are coming from.  While I no longer consider myself to be Catholic, there is still some truth and beauty in many of the Church's tradition for me.


At the risk of sounding too "new agey", I tend to think that faith is akin to a personal journey.  Only when we can separate ourselves from our family "traditions" will we be able to truly discover the meaning behind some of those traditions.


-Jim


m

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Marx
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 10:23AM #6
Jazel
Posts: 1,182

Mar 17, 2009 -- 9:55AM, kollo wrote:


  Usually, Lent-keepers just tell us that we keep Lent! (And the rest.)




And that's a crying shame, in my opinion.  If we all just stopped telling other Christians what they should do or should not, we'd probably all do a whole lot better.


-Jim

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Marx
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 10:45AM #7
whirlinggal
Posts: 4,329

"


At the risk of sounding too "new agey", I tend to think that faith is akin to a personal journey.  Only when we can separate ourselves from our family "traditions" will we be able to truly discover the meaning behind some of those traditions."


 


That makes a kot of sense to me.


Also--with my parents dead I feel less "disloyal" questioning and examing their beliefs and practices for myself.


I had heard from some people that the deaths of their parents "freed" them but I did not understand the power of that emotional sea change until recently.


 


 

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 1:21PM #8
Geocorona
Posts: 302

I haven't really seen a need to artifically create suffering or opportunities for sacrifice. Perhaps some day I'll be so blessed.


For instance, this year, I've given up gainful employment for Lent and my family has given up warmth and cable television as a result. Perhaps we'll give up the home I've been paying for the past 15 years. Lent observation has never been a choice I've had to make.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 1:32PM #9
Jazel
Posts: 1,182

Mar 17, 2009 -- 1:21PM, Geocorona wrote:


I haven't really seen a need to artifically create suffering or opportunities for sacrifice. Perhaps some day I'll be so blessed.


For instance, this year, I've given up gainful employment for Lent and my family has given up warmth and cable television as a result. Perhaps we'll give up the home I've been paying for the past 15 years. Lent observation has never been a choice I've had to make.




My heart certainly goes out to you, but I would say that lent isn't about suffering, artificially created or otherwise.


 

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Marx
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2009 - 1:47PM #10
melissaB
Posts: 23

I too grew up in a household that celebrated the Church calander and were active in the church activities. Sunday was for church no matter what! It was part of the rhythm of our lives not some sort of horrible punishment.


Lent was never a punishment for me. It is a time set apart and a time to reflect on what is important to me.  We ate fish on Fridays and went meatless more often and the money we saved went to our Easter offering. (Not really that big a deal for us.)


Lent and Spring went had in hand so certain things overlapped. My mom was big on Spring cleaning so our Saturdays involved alot of taking down winter curtains, ironing spring ones and putting on the summer slipcovers.  We also sewed our own Easter outfits so we added that to our to do lists.


Now I share lent with my own children. My oldest son (17) has choosen to fast certain days. He likes to way it sets the day apart and he even bakes his own bread to break the fast.  My other two have choosen to work on "bad habits"  so they are trying not to do specific things. My daughter had her phone stolen so she isn't texting around the family anymore anyway.


We remain active in oue church so Easter week is the big deal of Lent and the kids are helping me with the preperation for a Seder dinner as well as Easter activities. 


What all this is trying to say is: we just take more time to be aware of what we could do better and stay active with our church. 


Hope Lent brings some joy to your life. Easter is coming! Blessings MelissaB

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