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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lent Taken Seriously

OMG! Italian Catholics asked not to text during Lent - USATODAY.com

I grew up Roman Catholic. The Christian season of Lent was always about giving up chocolate. Nothing else. Oh, and we ate fish and no meat on Fridays. That's all Lent was. It was kind of devoid of spiritual meaning for me.

I have known many with similar Lenten practices. They have felt obligated, more than anything, to give something up for some nebulous reason. It's what you're supposed to do.

But as I have grown older, Lent has really become a place for me to give up something that is taking God's space, or to take up something that gives God His rightful place in my life. Lent is my favorite season of the Christian year and my observations have become extremely meaningful to me.

In the past I have given up the Internet, reading Mac news, video games and this year, I am reading the New Testament through.

I am seeing a trend in other people's lives taking Lent to a new level for them. Above is a USA Today article about Italian Catholics being encouraged by the Vatican to give up texting during Lent. I have several of my 200+ Facebook who have given up FB for Lent, specifically because it was taking up so much of their time -- time they believed was rightly God's.

There's still time to observe Lent. Try observing Holy Week -- the days from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday -- to be holy days or a week dedicated to God. Consider fasting a couple of those days or a meal every day. Give up FB or TV or reading the news. Plan for extra time in worship on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

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