why do we give up chocolate for lent
LENTáis upon us and traditionally it is a time to give something up for 40 days. But what should you pick and why do people do it? Chocolate is a popular thing to give up, but you can choose anything you feel has a hold over your life
What should you give up for Lent? Lent was traditionally a time to fast and give up eating certain foods Á with participants often having one proper meal a day and one or two lighter dishes to sustain strength. While some continue this practice, now the list is endless for what people choose to abstain from during the Lent period. Many people cut out certain luxuries or indulgences in a bid to become healthier or to save money, but what should you choose this year? If you are looking for some other ideas on whatá to give up, here are some to consider: An alternative to giving something up is to start a new habit. Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network has launched a #Do1NiceThing challenge which involves doing acts of kindness for those around you in the community. They have ideas forá what to do each day during Lent on their How to stick to your Lent fast? The good news is, six weeks isn t that long to go without something and the time frame is a small but fixed goal. Being held accountable is a good way to keep you sticking to your guns, so do the challenge with someone else, or get people to keep checking you haven t caved. Tick off the days you have achieved your goals to encourage you how far you ve come. Why do we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? As theá , Shrove Tuesday is the perfect time to get rid of any last minute indulgences Á andá. In the USA itÁs known asá. On this day, people stuff themselves with fatty foods before the abstinence of Lent kicks in. The word ÁshroveÁ comes from the term ÁshriveÁ, meaning to free yourself from sin. The tradition of eating pancakes, believed to originate from pagan rituals, allows families to use up all their eggs, butter, milk and flour all in one dish In the past, families would be encouraged to clear out their cupboards to remove the fattening foods from their houses.
They needed to come up with an easy way of getting rid of temptation by throwing away their indulgent ingredients, so threw them into one simple meal. The tradition of eating pancakes, believed to originate from pagan rituals, allows families to use up all their eggs, butter, milk and flour all in one dish. Some people believe that pancakes represent the four pillars of the Christian faith: eggs for creation, flour for sustenance, salt for wholesomeness and milk for purity. Who knew?! When does Lent start and what happens on Ash Wednesday? , which began on Ash Wednesday (this year February 14 - also Valentine s Day),á is a Christian tradition but many non-believers also get involved with the challenge. Certain foods such as chocolate or vices like alcohol are abstained from for 40 days,á traditionally toá grow closer to God as Easter approaches. But the possibilities are endless as to what people across the world deprive themselvesá ofá until the, which is known as Holy Thursday. Here are some of the most common and some wacky suggestions. birthday is in March. Which means IÁve been planning the festivities since January. Do you know what else IÁm planning for in March? Lent! I love Lent! While some will spend Wednesday, March 1 nursing the aftereffects of Mardi Gras, I will head to Mass at 8 a. m. for Ash Wednesday and the beginning of my forty-day journey toward Easter. Like my March birthday, IÁve been thinking about Lent for weeks. I canÁt wait to get started and to share the Lenten journey with you. You might ask why IÁm talking about Lent today when it doesnÁt begin until Wednesday? Well, like my birthday, important events should be planned for in advance.
I donÁt want you to reach the beginning of Lent and be caught by surprise. I donÁt want you to make some lame pronouncement like, ÁWell, I guess IÁll give up chocolate again this year,Á without thinking about the true meaning and value of Lent. Lent is not a diet plan. Lent was not thought up by the Seafood Council of America. Lent is not a conspiracy to force you to go to church more than once a week for no reason, so that you end up resenting church so much by Easter, that you donÁt darken the door again until Christmas Eve. When I was in my thirties I had a best friend, such a kindred spirit that we were like sisters. We had a standing Saturday evening itinerary that consisted of a sushi dinner, then coffee at the bookstore, and finally shoe shopping. Every week. Our conversations were always the same and we knew exactly what to say to make the other one laugh. It was lovely. But, as these things happen, over the years we moved to different parts of the country and lost touch. Oh, weÁd reconnect from time to time, but it was never quite the same. I believe our relationship with Jesus can feel a lot like this. In our hearts, we know we love Jesus, but things get in the way. We rush to get out the door in the morning. Then spend the day running from one appointment to another. By the time we get home, weÁre so tired weÁre lucky if we eat dinner in front of the television and then stumble back to bed to begin the entire cycle six hours later. And as with that friend we promise to call, but never do, our relationship with God becomes a fond memory. I like to believe that God provided Lent to give us a chance to re-connect with our real best friend, God himself. Which is why I want us to think about the next forty days in a new way. Instead of giving up something for Lent, join me in leaning in for Lent. LetÁs spend the next forty days pursuing our most important relationship, the one we have with God through his son, Jesus Christ.
LetÁs approach it in the same way we would if we were re-kindling a relationship with a long-lost friend. Where to start? Instead of picking up the phone, speak out loud with God. Share whatÁs on your heart. DonÁt worry about saying the wrong thing, God welcomes your honesty. If you want a model to follow, try the outline of the LordÁs prayer: Give thanks to God for everything in your life and for your heavenly father. Ask for your needs, your daily bread. Ask God to forgive your shortcomings, just as you forgive others in your life. Pray that God will keep you safe as you go through the world. Finish by thanking God again and acknowledging that his is the power, the glory, and honor, forever. Amen! If you believe that spending five minutes with God each morning canÁt make a difference, try it for the next 40 days and see what happens. Imagine how happy you would feel if you received a phone call every morning from someone you loved, for no reason, except they wanted to say hello and wish you a good day. ThatÁs a glimpse of how wonderful your brief prayer feels to God. LetÁs start right here. LetÁs journey with Jesus for the next forty days. LetÁs see ourselves walking toward God, toward a closer relationship that will change our lives forever. LetÁs start now. During the coming weeks of Lent, I will share my Lenten journey to a closer relationship with God. I hope you will share yours, too. Write to me, tell me how itÁs going. birthday celebration? IÁm heading home to Florida, borrowing a friendÁs beach condo, and spending a week with Mom. Sounds perfect. St. MaryÁs Catholic Church (Breckenridge) 6:30 a. m. , 8a. m. , 6:30pm 6:30am,8am,6:30pm St. JohnÁs Episcopal Church (Breckenridge) 8 :15am, 12:00pm, 5:30pm, 7pm
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