Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

So do you observe Lent?
Do you even know what Lent means?
....
Yeah.
Me neither... sorta.

I know it is the time to repent. (right?)

Plus Ash Wed. - what's it all about?
It is the time where you go to church and get ashes in the shape of a cross on the top of your forehead.
It is a little saddening that I have NO IDEA what the specific reason is for Ash Wednesday and I have been raised in a Catholic family for the past 23 1/2 years. --- Yeah my whole life.

So one day I had asked my dad something about religion and it was about four months from my graduation (around Sept. 2009). He just looked at me gave me a pat on the head and said: "Just focus on nursing right now then we'll talk about religion." as he walked away chuckling. Apparently I had made a really weird (and funny?) comment that made no sense. humph.

It is a little sad - I believe - that my own dad even thinks I'm horrible at religion. But I have not been to church in so long that I am more likely to make bad assumptions about religion talk. haha

So the couple of things I do know about Lent are that it is the time of repenting, you have to give up something you love for 40 days, and on Fridays you cannot should not cannot eat any meat - only FISH.
Yum. haha

So I will be doing just that.
I am giving up: white bread. no croissants. no baguettes. no white rolls. (yep. i love it that much that I am giving it up for Lent.)

And I hope to make some more yummy fish dishes for those Fridays.

So. Are you observing Lent?
Can you educate me more on this?
Let me know.

Thanks!
Sofia

6 comments:

Pamela Bousquet said...

Hey Sofia!
Being a (converted) Catholic - I used to wonder about this feast day as well - and now, with age and a (little!) more education, am starting to understand it better! I used to believe, as MANY catholics do, that it's all about the "giving up" of something during Lent - quite the contrary - it IS about turning your life and thoughts back to God, and determining how worldly things have gotten in your way (thus the giving "up" of things sometimes!) Catholics are being educated a little better these days in exactly what it means to maybe ADD some devotional time or service to God and your faith community during Lent, rather than just giving up chocolate, etc. for 40 days. (example, attending weekly Stations of the Cross, Adoration, volunteering, etc.) Ash Wednesday not only mark the beginning of Lent, but is a reminder to us that we belong to God, and that we will return to God - the ashes a outward sign that we believe this, and are contemplating those things (sins) that have kept us from fully living in his presence.

Hope this helped a little - Wikipedia has a nice "history" of the feast day, and there are many Catholic sites (not to mention the Vatican site) that can offer additional reading.

God Bless - and best wishes on your journey!
Pam

Marnie said...

Well said Pam :0)

myletterstoemily said...

i think we are all a little lost where
religion is concerned.

it's very sweet that you were willing
to give up something not really
knowing all the church's reasons.

you must have a special heart.

would love to know what the question
was that you posed to your dad that
made him chuckle.

blessings,
lea

Cindy said...

Sofia,

Pam's post really is a great gist of the true meaning of Ash Wednesday and Lent! For ages, I was with you, sister! I gave up chocolate or TV or Facebook, and then wondered how that tiny sacrifice of (usually) vanity helped me identify at all with Christ's sacrifice of his LIFE.

And then when I started to study the season a bit more, and realize its true purpose, I saw how it helps nurture faith.

Different churches practice the season of Lent in different ways, but in the Catholic church, things change in Sunday services. Many churches remove their holy water and replace it with sand. We don't sing the Alleluia before the Gospel. And we don't sing the "Glory to God in the highest!" at the beginning of the service. It recreates, to a certain point, what it would be like if we couldn't or wouldn't be able to praise God because of oppression or our own sins. And it drives me nuts every year, because the best way to make you appreciate something is to take it away--by the time Easter rolls around, I'm thrilled at the reminder of my baptism through the holy water, at the ability and freedom to sing praises for God's mercy and his instruction in the Bible.

There are my thoughts on Lent. I hope they help! And keep us updated on your relationship with it!

Frenchy chick said...

we should observe the lent all our life. I mean. We should sacrifice (not being selfish and think of others)and eat meat sparingly.
That's what i think:)
www.lechateaudesfleurs.blogspot.com

SoFiA said...

wow. thank you for so many great responses!!! They all definitely give me insight on religion and Lent.

Pam - thanks for the great info! =)

Marnie - I agree.

myletterstoemily (lea) - If I can remember the question at a later day will post it. =)

Cindy - as I start having more time away from school and my new job I will try to put a little more time in all this. will update. thank you for your thoughts!

Frenchy chick - i hear ya. something to think about.

again, thanks for all the great comments ladies!