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TOPIC: Great Lent

Great Lent 4 years 2 months ago #1306

  • Lilly
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I think fasting during the Lent deserves its special topic. I know its more common for the Orthodox tradition rather then Catholic, but there are a lot of Orthodox christians around the world. I would like to ask you if you fast and what does the Great Lent means for you personally?

Fasting during this period brings me feeling of being light and new. The initial purpose of fasting in christianity is to remind us of the saying “Man does not live by bread alone.” And while you actually put a lot more thought into what you are eating, because there are strict rules, you do feel more spiritual.

So here are the rules:

The first week of Lent is especially strict. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you should keep a total fast. But very few people can actually do it, i dont fast completely but i eat very little and mostly the uncooked food (bread, fruit, nuts).

From the second through the sixth weeks of Lent you cant eat meat, animal prod­ucts (cheese, milk, butter, eggs, lard), fish (meaning fish with backbones), olive oil and wine (all alcoholic drinks). You can have some wine and oil on the weekends in think. Ideally you should eat one meal a day on weekdays and two meals on weekends, but i just keep it simple for myself and change my diet rather than eating schedule.

What is your experience with Lent? Do you find it hard to keep?
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Great Lent 4 years 2 months ago #1368

  • juney
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Personally I don't do Lent, because I'm Jewish, but I know a lot of Catholic/Protestant people who give up something they love for Lent, rather than following this specific set of rules. In fact, I didn't really know there were strict rules for Lent, so thank you Lilly for sharing. I think whether you do it in the way you've described above or in the "modernized" way I'm familiar with (a good friend of mine gave up fizzy drinks for the duration of Lent, because she normally drinks a lot of sugary soft drinks), I think Lent is quite a positive thing. As long as it doesn't harm your health, it's great to cut down the things you eat because 1) it reminds you of how fortunate you are, and how fortunate you are that God gave us all the amazing things we usually eat and 2) it does help to feel closer to God. I think there's truth in the whole idea of poor/hungry people being more religious than their wealthy and overfed counterparts - I think religion thrives in poor, developing countries while in the developed world we tend to shy away from it, because we forget the wonders of God. I think fasting in any format, be it strict Lent, the Lent "lite" I described earlier, the limiting of foodstuffs during Pesach, complete fasting on Yom Kippur, or the Muslim Ramadan fasting tradition, does serve to bring you closer to God.

The main concern I usually have with religious fasts is that some people who aren't physically able to stop themselves from eating/drinking all day are going to do so and may endanger themselves. I remember in high school a Muslim girl passed out in the middle of class during Ramadan one year. However, Lent, even if done very strictly, does not seemingly forbid drinking water or eating if you really require nourishment, which means it's easy to observe. I think it's a wonderful tradition, and the more people observe it the better. It's bound to make you feel privileged and grateful to God for the rest of the year. :)
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