It’s time for another hot topic and this week I promised that I would talk with you all about Lent. As a Catholic I celebrate Lent every year but I will be the first to admit to you that it is very difficult. When I was younger I thought it was the worse thing in the world. I mean I had to fast!! That is rough on a child but as I got older things began to make more sense.
For those who don’t know Lent is the 40 days before Easter and Catholic pray, sacrifice (in the form of fasting), and reflect. We do these things because Christmas Ester is the greatest holy day of the year. You read that correctly, it is greater than Christmas. The reason is that it is the day that Christ gave his life for us. If you noticed that number 40 up there, it is traditional number of judgment and spiritual testing in the Bible. I could give you all the doctrine and what have you to keep you reading for days. I won’t do that. I will explain how we celebrate Lent in our home. Lent began on Ash Wednesday ( March 1) and ends on Holy Thursday (April 13).
Only adults ages 18-59 are required to fast. So that means as the only adult in the age range in the house fast using the meal requirements. I get one main meal a day with two smaller meals. The smaller meals if combined cannot be more than a full meal. I tend to keep it all pretty light during Lent. It makes it easier for me. The older kids as well as Ma give up something they enjoy. Usually it’s sweets, video games, etc. The twins are too young to understand and while they do try to participate they don’t always remember. We won’t start working with them on it until age 5 or 6.
No Meat Fridays
We all practice this the entire season. Since we homeschool this isn’t a problem. Every Friday we choose to not eat meat. We can and do eat seafood and if you are wondering why so many places have seafood night or day on Fridays. Now you know why. We have a restaurant in town that does it and when I asked they said there were so many Catholics in the area that it works out well.
Almsgiving and Mass
We up our donations and time during this time of the year. Yes we should and do give all year but make an effort to do more during this season. I almost make sure that we are at mass every day during this time of the year. There are more than enough weeks throughout the year where we miss a day but we attend mass every afternoon during Lent.
Yep! I head to confession during Lent. I do it other times of the year (I typically go monthly) but I go twice during Lent. My priest says no one needs that much penance but it makes good to go and get all my sins off my chest. Even if some of the things I see as sins aren’t really seen that way by others.
All of this leads up to Good Friday which a big day at our house and one I will tell you about next week. I hope this helps those who don’t understand Lent and why we do it.