Lent is here. Why do I like Lent? It is probably the same reason I enjoy cleaning the house and sorting my books every so often. It is good to clean house every so often. Lent gives us a chance to examine those areas of our life that are encumbered by material and sinful things. By denying ourselves physical pleasures and by increasing prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we allow God to transform us. Lent is in some senses a journey of transformation (sorry to use a buzz word!). Either Jonathan or I took this photo at a local shrine. I enhanced it using Google’s Picasa2, which is an amazing, free, photo organization and manipulation program.
Here is my basic Lenten plan (a plan I am sharing with my girlfriend Jennifer). I am not posting this to brag in any way, but to share the ideas we had. Note that numbers 1-3 are expected of all Western Catholics. Eastern Catholics and Orthodox Christians often have stricter requirements. For more ideas we have compiled Suggestions for your Lenten Fast.
1. No Meat on Fridays
2. Fasting on Ash Wednesday
3. Fasting on Good Friday
4. Read Matthew, John, Galatians, Philippians and Jude
5. Follow the Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan
6. No Snacking
7. No Fried Potatoes
8. Save gas by avoiding 1 trip out/week
9. Exercise 3 times/week
Now, here is what sin each activity fights:
1,2,3,6,7,9: Gluttony, materialist attachments
4,5: Ignorance, Sloth
9: General Materialism
Also, the plan is to give any money saved (from not eating fries or taking an extra car ride) to a Catholic charity.
What are you giving up?
Also, for those interested in discussing the Church Fathers readings online, please check out the schedule for the Catholics Building Bridges Room on Paltalk.