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February 13, 2005

Lent - The "Sacrafice"

So last Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) was the start of Lent.

Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. We skip Sundays when we count the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. Lent begins on 9 February 2005 and ends on 26 March 2005.
Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. By the way, I had to look this up after my duaghter quized me on it the other day. I thought the 40 days had something to do with Noahs ark.
So, it's about sacrifice. Most of us relate to Lent as something we "have to give up" for 40 days. Our kids go to a Catholic school so a good number of our friends celebrate Lent in one fashion or another. Last night we were at a party and of course the issue of Lent came up (as well as a number of other non-appropriate subjects) and some of us shared what we were sacrificing as a badge of honor. It was hilarious because most of what we were giving up were vices that we have developed over the years (drinking, smoking, eating sweets, etc, etc). But the funniest comment was when one (of a couple) said that they were giving up "sex". I'm not sure who was sacrificing what, or if indeed it was sacrificial or more like a gift, but it occurred to me that the original precepts of Lent had somehow been mitigated over the years. I for one am giving up all alcohol for Lent, yet another great sacrifice among man - although I was intending to cut back anyway to try to shed a few of those Holiday pounds that are sticking around. It's a good excuse anyway... :-)

February 13, 2005 in Biographical, Religion | Permalink


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