Great Lent 2012: A Time of Reflection
I don’t particularly care for my mother’s tuna noodle casserole (with potato chips on top) nor was a big fan of cheese pizza (pizza? Yes. With pepperoni preferably). I didn’t understand why I couldn’t eat what I wanted. All I understood about Lent was that I couldn’t eat meat on Fridays.
Lent had no meaning for me. My focus was only on how I could live through fish sticks and fish sandwiches at school for lunch on Fridays.
And then I grew up, became Protestant and rejected Lent altogether. I had some friends who “gave up something” (usually chocolate) but none of them could ever tell me *why* they were avoiding chocolate or why they willingly ordered a fish sandwich for lunch. (blech!)
And I discovered Orthodoxy. Orthodox fasting rules make Catholic Lent seem like child’s play. No meat, no fish, no dairy, no eggs, no (olive) oil and no wine. (Is there anything left?) I often joke that I should have returned to Rome at least then I could beef broth with vegetables even if I couldn’t actually have the beef.
(Please note, dear readers, that the Orthodox fasting guidelines are not rigid and are between the individual, God and spiritual advisor. We are never to judge a brother or sister in Christ.)
But food stuff aside, Lent has become so much more to me. It’s not about the fasting. (Yes that is a BIG part of Lent). It’s about evaluating myself. It’s about teaching myself discipline. It’s about reflecting on how far I have fallen and how I can repent and return to God.
I find myself wanting more time for prayer. I find myself doing self-examination and I am repulsed by what I see in my heart. I find myself needing to be at church more. I need more of God.
Lent is the season where I fall in love all over again with my Savior as I reflect on how desperately I need Him and I am awed by how much He loves me.