Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Looking for Lenten practices

I don't believe in giving things up; I'm more interested in taking things on, and I don't need encouragement to punish myself. I have friends who have gone vegetarian for Lent, and I was one, year-round, for more than 15 years. I respect that choice, very much, but I'm not following it. The reasons I'm not, now, have partly to do with the vegetarian options at school (sometimes great, often not), and partly because I spend a lot of time with omnivorous friends. I don't want to ask them to change for me.

It's very, very easy to beat myself up; my practice in this season needs to be gentle. I've pretty much decided to revive my on-again, off-again prayer journal. I may do the Ignatian examen in that context.

What are you doing for Lent?


pj said...

Not sure. Last year was the first time I ever observed Lent, sort of privately. I gave up getting into contentious disagreements with people in online political communities whom I'd never even met (chuckle). More importantly I made myself take a break from a person who was (unintentionally, but still) hurting me, with the promise that I could reconnect with this person after Easter if I'd worked out some issues of my own. It worked out okay!

This time around might be a little more concrete. Like no snacking after dinner or something. And I too want to take more things on, but we can't all be Kirstins. :)

FranIAm said...

I have written quite a bit about this already on my parish blog, which you are all welcome to visit and comment on, but I am Fran there not FranIam!!

There are three pieces over the last few days (and a nice poem by our resident poet!)

What you said- not about giving up but about taking in. I can give up something but what am I letting in.

Today it hit me (and I wrote about it) - I need to do more work around fear and faith. Fear is an impediment and I think it is sinful, although you know I am not all fire and brimstone. It comes down to what keeps me from being in more common union with God and with others.

Be gentle and be open- which I think you are. I am praying for you as always. I better go- teaching a Scripture Study class tonight, the first time, yikes!!

Episcopollyanna said...

We're doing several devotional studies and making a real effort to do morning/evening prayer.

Also giving up our occasional wine (for me) and beer (for him) with dinner. We're not big drinkers by any stretch, but that's this year's 'sacrifice.'

I'm working on our parish's massive food drive project too, so we're planning to stay pretty busy.

Have a blessed Lent! :)

Kirstin said...

Thanks, guys!

PJ, I'm really not all that. :-)
I think taking a break from a particular person, with intent to solve whatever the issue is, is a really good idea. There's no one in my current life that I need to do that with. In general, making spaces to breathe is a good thing.

Thank you for the prayers, Fran. Fear and faith is a really core issue--for me and probably for most people. Have fun with your class! You'll do great.

Pollyanna, I love the idea of a food drive. Blessed Lent, back at you. :-)

Apostle In Exile said...

Well, I've always rather liked the Lenten practice of a friend who gave up vacuuming for Lent! But oh, shucks, I gave that up years ago.

So let's see:

*No throwing up fur balls during Lent
*Be gracious about retrieving wet toys from the water bowl
*Leave your fursibs and furless bedmates at least an inch or two in which to roll over
*And purr constantly

That should about do it.

Gallycat said...

I always look at Lent as a time to take on a practice I want to make permanent, a time to make a change I want to commit to. Last year I gave up caffeine successfully and kept off it for about eight months before getting back into diet pepsi again at my new job, and plus taking up tea and being very fond of Earl Gray, I realized it was going to be a while before I gave it up again, although I may give up sodas at some point.

This year, the practice I am trying to cultivate is giving up clutter. I'm a clutterbug to a fault, and it's something I need to change about myself to better live in harmony with my partner, so Lent will be about that process. And now that I'm on my way back from San Diego, I'm going to start blogging about it. :D

You did catch that I moved blogs, right? Link should be at my old spot... :)