Lent

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Angelskates, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    The Lenten season has is fast approaching (Ash Wednesday is February 13), and I'm thinking of what I want to do.

    I really like the idea of doing something, rather than, or in addition to, giving something up. Does anyone have any suggestions of something daily I could do that's not just for me? So not prayer, or fitness, but something that makes a positive difference to someone other than myself.

    I will probably give up some things too (coffee, chocolate, alcohol, meat) but I'm not sure.

    What are you doing for Lent?
     
  2. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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  3. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Marge, I'm trying to become more crafty, so this may be right up my alley! I've actually messaged them to see if they need anything else locally.

    Is there an update for the second link, it says 2008? Or it doesn't matter since there's no dates? Is it the same every year?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  4. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    What a great idea, Angelskates! I think I will try to do something too, not just give things up. :) Thanks for the great idea!
     
  5. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Active Member

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    I gave up eating out one year for Lent and took the savings and donated it to Heifer International.
     
  6. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Some great ideas here. Aimed at Catholics but probably adaptable:

    http://bustedhalo.com/features/25-great-things-you-can-do-for-lent

    And a great list here:

    http://thisdaybysusand.blogspot.com/2010/02/101-things-to-do-for-lent-not-just-for.html

    I am all for more doing and less giving up. I put that idea on Facebook last year and got slammed by the very legalistic Catholics I went to high school with who believe the be all and end all of lenten observation is giving up candy or coffee. It made me sad.
     
  7. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i went to a catholic school and for lent we were required to do something for someone as opposed to giving up something.

    i generally choose to do neither but i think doing something that takes up your time captures the spirit better than giving up cake when the real reason you want to give up cake is to lose a pound
     
  8. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    I taught at Catholic school and every year the priests encouraged the high school students to do something and explained that giving up candy was kind of a minimum and as they got older they could and should strive for something more meaningful. But the school I attended is in the most conservative diocese in the U.S. and the diocese as a whole is becoming exceedingly legalistic. I find that legalism doesn't challenge people to grow spiritually, so it follows that the people there are still giving up candy and nothing more over twenty years after we graduated from high school.
     
  9. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    Anyone have their throat blessed today?
     
  10. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    We did after mass this morning. My husband, a cradle Catholic who went to Catholic school no less, had never had it done. At my Catholic school, we had a nun named Sister Ann who was obsessed with it as a protection from winter illnesses and would drag a priest all over school to make sure every student got the blessing. I always remember her on St. Blaise's day.
     
  11. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    Last night they did the blessing of the throats thing. My parish is quite progressive and known somewhat as rebels, and so it always surprised me the number of people who participate in this particular rite. And yes, I had mine blessed too.

    I haven't decided what I'm going to do for Lent. I also am not really of the mind to see much value in giving up, say, chocolate. But a very good friend of mine who is a priest says it is about the discipline, and practicing discipline in small matters so that when it becomes more important you are somewhat prepared. Of course, he also talks about the importance of charitable acts. I will make it to Mass a few extra days a week, at least. For those of you on Facebook, Fr. Jim Martin, who is a Jesuit priest, is doing some sort of on line retreat complete with videos embedded in the presentations. If you search for him on Facebook you can find out info about it if you are interested.
     
  12. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    My religion teacher my senior year was a progressive Jesuit who was somewhat mystified by Catholic behavior on Ash Wednesday and St. Blaise Day. During a time when church participation dwindled he was always surprised to see the church so full on Ash Wednesday and to a lesser degree St. Blaise Day. I've never quite figured it out either. As for Lent-I am a lapsed Catholic but I liked the idea of addition rather than subtraction on Lent. But whatever the addition is it must be for someone else.
     
  13. 4rkidz

    4rkidz GPF Barcelona here I come

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    your post reminded me of when our daughter was 7 and proudly told us 'she gave up candy for LINT'.. btw we are not catholic or religious at all.. but didn't want to interfere with her efforts.. although she had no idea what it was about at all.. but all her friends were doing it..:lol:
     
  14. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    It's a great idea. Maybe dedicate a portion of your budget all through Lent to buying food for the local food bank, or blankets for the local shelter, or books for kids who can't afford them, or something like that?
     
  15. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    One thing our priest always suggests is that if you do give up something like candy, chocolate, coffee, etc...save the money you would have spent on it and donate that to a charity.
     
  16. Clarice

    Clarice Active Member

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    We did the throat blessing at the end of Mass today, but Monsignor did a collective blessing for all of us instead of having us come up individually to be blessed with the crossed candles.

    I haven't decided about Lent this year yet, either. Doing something positive is a great thing - in our parish, we generally do "Rice Bowls", where we collect money for the poor by not spending it on other things. We get our rice bowls (little cardboard banks) on Ash Wednesday and turn them in during Holy Week. There is value to giving something up, too, though, because self-denial helps strengthen character and makes it easier to say no in the face of temptation. Classic, traditional thinking, but there is truth to it. Ideally, one does both during Lent.

    My funniest Lent story was the year my daughter decided to give up nail polish. I forget how old she was - 7 or 8, maybe? - and it's not like she wore a lot of nail polish anyway, but she's a skater and was into the dress-up part of it from an early age. Anyway, a week or two in, she showed up with deep pink nails one day. When I asked her about her decision to give up nail polish, she said it didn't count because she had colored her nails with a marker. I told our parish priest about it, who guffawed and said she should have been a Jesuit.
     
  17. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the links! I am going to fast something as well as do something, the fasting for for myself and my relationship with God, and the doing something is for that, but also to help others and show others Christ's love.

    Ditto.

    Yeah, I know several people who are waiting for Lent to go gluten free.

    I have a coffee stock at all times, so I wouldn't need to buy it... I already give to the local homeless (I eat with them) and contribute to several local charities. For Lent I want to do something more. I think the Craft Hope idea is awesome!
     
  18. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Angelskates, I did one of the Craft Hope projects on my own, the ConKerr pillowcases for kids with cancer. I first came across the Craft Hope website after that particular project was over, but I found out a quilt shop in NYC was a drop-off point for the pillowcases and they distribute them to local children's hospitals. (I actually work in a hospital but we don't have a pediatrics department, so I couldn't just bring them to work with me) Since I was about to turn 50, I made 50 pillowcases and donated them. Honestly, I probably got more pleasure out of making them than the kids got by receiving them.
    So I'm thinking I might make more pillowcases during Lent this year. What about approaching local children's hospitals and asking them if they could use any handmade items?
     
  19. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I know this sounds terrible, but IME, once they see a foreign face, they tend to just want money. :( Maybe I can go through a Chinese charity and see if that makes a difference. I really like the idea of Craft Hope though, and think I might like to do that. I'll wait and see when more details are given :)
     
  20. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    I'm not Catholic, but one year (during college) I committed to hanging out once a week with a Downs syndrome lady who worked on our campus. You could do something like visiting shut-ins or folks in nursing homes, if you're at all comfortable with that (and if not, sometimes it's good to get out of your comfort zone).
     
  21. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    Well, Lent is also the season of "almsgiving" and a lot of people link that to fasting. Figure out how much you save by giving up booze or whatever, and give it away creatively. Last year I sent mine to some Italian nuns in Egypt where Christians are so endangered... they work with refugees from Sudan... but you could just as well keep your eyes open and when you see someone on the street in obvious poverty, just walk up, say something kind, and hand them an envelope with a God bless. Trust me, it will give you a spiritual glow all through Lent and after, and will send a ray of love into the world.
     
  22. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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  23. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I mostly complain in writing so I don't know if that counts...
     
  24. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    It is not healthy to bottle up grief, pain and discomfort.

    Asking people to not fuss about every little thing all day long is one thing, but suggesting that "grief, pain and discomfort" be left unspoken and unaddressed is not a good thing. My father kept his pain and discomfort to himself for several months last year. The result was cancer not being diagnosed in a timely manner. But he wasn't putting out negative energy by complaining while that tumor grew unchallenged. He wouldn't have had to move his bracelet. *eyeroll*
     
  25. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Now ubering Machida's hair

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    That was my thought when I read on the website.

    I could definitely get behind not complaining all the time ( I know I do that too much), but expressing pain, grief and discomfort is healthy.
    There is a difference between whining and expressing your emotions.
     
  26. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    From the FAQ's:

    It sounds to me like they're encouraging people not to complain for the sake of it. I think saying "My back hurts, so I am going to do x, y, and x." is fine. Saying your back hurts all the time without doing something about it maybe isn't. It also says "complaining, gossiping or criticizing" are what they like people to recognise. I think it's important to recognise the complaining, gossiping or criticizing and do something about it. They do encourage people to talk about what they want. You dad could have said he was in pain and wanted it to go away and therefore receive treatment (or do something else), and that would be fine.

    I think in general people (including myself) complain too much without looking at the positives and being grateful, or what I can do about the situation/s I am complaining about.
     
  27. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    The entire tone of that site is "are you grieving for someone or something? If so, shut up."

    I am not in favor of complaining by any means. The last school I taught full time in had a culture of out of control complaining among the students and it needed to be stopped. If you gave these teenagers free pizza, they complained about it not being from their favorite pizza place. If you gave them a free t-shirt, they complained about the color. (And both of those things happened quite literally and more than once). That is ridiculous and unnecessary complaining. But no one should ever be told to repress genuine emotions of grief, pain or discomfort. Ever. And the loss of a loved one or the pain of watching someone dear to you go through cancer and many other difficult circumstances are not something you can necessarily "do something about". You can't bring that person back and you can't cure cancer personally. To say you are not allowed to talk about it unless you are "doing something about it" is one more way of telling hurting people to just shut up and smile.

    It is a complete lack of empathy and compassion.
     
  28. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I read it so differently. Firstly, I don't think it lacks empathy or compassion, it asks one to focus on oneself for starters, and not others complaining. And secondly, I think there's always something one can *do* to express pain, grief and suffering, whether its loss of a loved one or physical or emotional pain. I also think for that that whatever I choose to do I'd a healthier way of me dealing with it rather than complaining out loud. I complain a lot in writing (I journal a lot!) merely to get it out so I don't have to bother other people AND because it helps me figure out what I can do about the issues, and make a plan of action. I think we should be more aware of our complaining, I don't think we need to repress grief or pain, but we do need to be aware of it, and yes, work through it, IMO. Everyone's different, but I see the site as having a positive message. I can see why it wouldn't suit everyone, but nothing ever can.
     
  29. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    The book explains the plan a lot better than the website, and has helped me a lot, especially at work.
    After reading the book, I became aware of something I hadn't really picked up on before: If one of us went into a complaint along the lines of "OMG, it was so crazy in here last night! I had 3 patients bleeding out at the same time and then this idiot doctor reported me for not answering the phone fast enough!", it didn't end there. Another person would say, "You think that's bad? This morning I had to work alone because everyone else called in sick and I had 4 patients bleeding out!" Etc etc.
    If someone goes into a rant like that now, I commiserate, but I curb the impulse to respond with a complaint of my own.

    I admit, I don't have much patience for people who constantly complain about their aches and pains. I have health problems of my own, but I generally never discuss this unless I am specifically asked. What is the point? Moaning about my problems is not going to make them disappear.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  30. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    I don't know if it's a great idea or a horrible one but there is a colored rubber bracelet involved so I automatically hate it. ;)