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Lent and Fasting

  /   Wednesday March 01, 2006  

Before I start in on this one, it may be good to mention my 2004 article on penance. As I said in the article, there are people who advocate that giving up something for Lent is outmoded, and we should really “do something” for Lent. There are other variations on this as well.

I have sometimes thought that I wish that I could just eat whatever I want and not have to observe this discipline. I wanted to be “free” of it. However, not being able to control my appetite is not freedom. If I truly have Christian freedom, I will be able to give up things of this world, even good things, that I do not need.

I heard it said that if someone gives up, for example, chocolate, they get used to it in a couple weeks. Supposedly, it’s not as meaningful by then. I’ve had this experience, but I know that this really represents a kind of growth in freedom and detachment. I may like what I gave up, but I am free to give it up. It doesn’t own me.
Giving up something for Lent is spiritual exercise. We exercise the freedom we have in Christ so that it grows stronger. It is this freedom that allows us to remove anything that becomes an obstacle to our life in Christ.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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