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why this not-so-catholic girl is observing lent.

tonight, three chocolate cookies filled with milk & white chocolate chips, were consumed.  a massive glass of milk was drunk.  and i wondered what else i can stuff in my mouth before 12am.  why?  well —

i was hesitant to bring up the word “lent” on my site.  after all, it’s a catholic fast, i’m not a part of the catholic church, people have varying views on doing such things, and i really don’t do well with confrontation.  know this: i love some dear catholics but i don’t adhere to the Roman Catholic church.  i haven’t grown up observing a 40 day fast before easter — last year was the first time for me — and i never considered making it a yearly tradition.  but several have asked me if i’m fasting again this year and i thought, “why not?  why not just tell on my little space here?”

so here’s why this not-so-catholic girl is [not really] observing lent (i couldn’t even educate you on everything concerning lent — that’s how unfamiliar it is), but is fasting for 40 days:

1)  i lack resolve and discipline.  if i instituted my own 40 day fast, chances are, i wouldn’t fulfill it.  this way, i have a date set for me and i have a wonderful, glorious day that it ends: Easter Sunday.  you could argue that i could do something like this on my own, and perhaps i could, but fasts that i’ve tried in the past?  well, i’ll be the first to say that sometimes they ended a bit… early.

2)  i wasn’t sure if i was going to fast this year.  last year found me in a dark place full of resentment, frustration, and being ruled by flesh.  i needed a change and i needed to do something drastic to bring change.  although there was no lightning bolt encounter with an angel and i didn’t wake one day to find myself free of all resentment, frustration, and want to wallow in melancholy, i finished lent and felt as though my feet were back on solid footing.  last year, i fasted for my inward self.  this year, i fast for other situations.  the way that only eating certain foods last year reminded me of my personal need for Jesus, this year i will be reminded of my need to ask Jesus to move.

3)  lent is the season leading into Easter, the day our faith is made real.  for the last few years, Easter has been my favorite.  this year, it’s even more real in my heart.  Easter represents life.  life eternal and life abundant.

life.  life for me and you.  life for those broken around you.  life for the very situations you’ve thought dead for so long.  He’s come that you/them/whatever & whoever it is can have life.

and this year, that’s what i need.  since Easter stands for the very thing i’m needing & longing for, why would i not spend the weeks prior focused on sweet, precious life?  and why wouldn’t i give up things i love for just 40 days as i remind myself of the way He gave an answer years ago and is longing to make it our reality today?  He wants His life to be real in our lives today.  and that’s what i’m asking for.

and that, dear readers, is why i “observe” lent.

2 thoughts on “why this not-so-catholic girl is observing lent.

  1. Good thoughts. I think it’s great that you’re observing Lent. (And if it makes you feel better, it’s not a “Catholic” thing. Anglicans and other Protestants do it too.)

  2. MMMmmmm….those were the days, eh?

    I don’t regret it though, those 40 days were some of the darkest of my spiritual life and that Easter Sunday I wept because I felt even more alone and faithless than 40 days previous. But, looking back, it was the small pivot that began the full turning that has happened this year. I’m glad you were with me every step of it. You are the best friend a person could ask for. And I didn’t even ask for you. That’s how blessed I am.

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