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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

What Should You Give Up for Lent Made Easy

So here we are! It's Lent! Get out your hair shirts. Put the Pringles can down. Back away from the TV. Take a break from Facebook. Stop wearing shoes.

There are so many ways you can experience the period of atonement and sacrifice that is Lent. Here at the cyberconvent, we have our hands full so we haven't put much thought to what to give up this year. Thank goodness we stumbled across this.

What Should You Give Up For Lent?

Beware, the language is not completely, well, nice. But we're adults here.  It's not that bad. Just don't use that language yourself. Or, if you're already using that language, give that up for Lent. BOOM! You're welcome.

Now, how telling them that my favorite muppet is that Swedish Chef thing got them to pick giving up coffee for me is beyond my feeble comprehension. But they really nailed it, I have to say. The people around me are thrilled if I don't give up coffee for Lent.  If I did it would be a huge sacrifice FOR THEM, just to tolerate being around me. I have given up putting milk in my coffee, so that I don't actually enjoy it. But give it up?  That's dangerous.

Literally dangerous, to myself and others. I'm blind until I have my coffee. It's one thing to go to Mass and pray before having coffee, blind, it's another to actually work and be available to speak to people and that sort of thing.

But who am I to question BUZZFEED's amazingly accurate Lenten pick? 

A person who is about to unleash their uncaffienated self on the world, that's who.

Keep in mind that once you give up something for Lent, you're not allowed to moan and groan and complain about your deprivation. We are aligning ourselves with the suffering of Christ on the cross and He did not complain about opening the gates of Heaven for you or dying for your sins. You have to pick something that will cause you to suffer on some level and then put your big boy and girl pants on and deal with it.

It will make you a better person, I promise.

And, as always, lose weight and stop smoking on your own time. This is not about your looks or your health. You can't give up candy for Lent and then grin because your jeans fit nicely. And you shouldn't be smoking in the first place. What about "your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit" don't you get? Cut that out. It's not a sin to smoke.  But Jesus wants you to quit.

Let us know if you get an accurate pick.


Anonymous said...

I got: "nothing." How disappointing. The site said to "do something." Huh. I am giving up Facebook, netflix, and youtube. Have a blessed Lent.

Whitney said...

I was told I should give up "Nothing."

No. Joke. That's apparently an option on this quiz.

And who am I to disagree? God speaks to us in mysterious ways... like BuzzFeed.

hekates said...

I gave up coffee for Lent one year. What a nightmare - on the way to sunrise service, I got a double latte.

hekates said...

4? St. Rocco? that dog?

SWP said...

neither Casimir nor Perpetua. It's the feast of St. John Joseph, who levitated and bilocated.

I was told by Buzzfeed that I should give up Nothing for Lent. Apparently I'm good enough already.

So that means I will be DOING something this Lent, and the thing I'm gonna do is pray the Divine Office.

I'm also going to ignore Buzzfeed and refrain from desserts, except for St. Joseph's day when I'll be sharing Fig Newtons with my first and second graders.

Unknown said...

I was told to give up: Television. That's going to be hard.

Anonymous said...

Why is Ash Wednesday on a Wednesday? Why not on a Thursday or Friday? I know it's the day after Shrove Tuesday, but that still doesn't explain it. Can anyone help?

Marion Teague said...

I got caffeine too. No chance! Cakes and chocolate are going to be tough enough.

Claire Rebecca said...

I got told nothing. In some ways this is accurate - I'm focusing more on "taking up" prayer and regular confession. But Buzzfeed quizzes...so scientific.

Anonymous said...

For Christmas my kids gave me a coffee cup that says, "I drink coffee for YOUR protection" and a plaque that says "Given enough coffee, I could rule the world."

I, too, am praying the Divine Office this year.

Julie said...

I also got, "nothing." Seriously?
Not really helpful, but I love the blog!

Juli said...

I also got "Nothing".

I'm giving up snow. Shoveling snow, traipsing around in it, being freezing cold in it. Yeah. And if that's not acceptable, I'm going to try and start appreciating what my husband does, rather than nag at what he doesn't. If anything, that will make HIM happy. :)

Excellent post!

SWP said...

Ash Wed is on a Wednesday because at one time in the Church's practice, both Wednesdays and Fridays were days of fasting (I believe having something to do with Ember Days), evident in Our Lady's apparitions which have called for a renewed commitment to Wed and Friday fasting. If we look to our Orthodox brethren, they begin Lent the whole week prior to the First Sunday of Lent, and in some ways even before that they begin the fasting (they call it the Great Fast, as they have multiple minor fasts thru the year). So at one time in the Church, preparation started much earlier. The Friday immediately before the first Sunday of Lent would already have been a day of fasting (as all Fridays are meant to be for Catholics still). Then that Wednesday prior would have been a day of fasting too, as well as an opportunity to be enrolled in the Order of Penitents- those preparing to enter the Church or practicing penitence before our current customs of private confession had developed. Don't forget that the calendar of Lent originated and still revolves around what we now call RCIA- the days of scrutiny, the Rite of Election, and so forth. Anywho-- the day before one was enrolled in the Order of Penitents was a day to be shriven in the confessional (hence, Shrive Tuesday). So you would be eating the last meat and fat foods in your larder (hence, paczki), then you would go to confession, and then you would be ready for ashes and then you would be ready for the penitential season, whereby you would put into practice the penance for that major annual confession you had just made. Lent was a way to prepare alongside the catechumens for their first and your annual reception of Holy Communion.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, SWP!

Anonymous said...

I got nothing, and I laughed. Well, smiled.
I'm not giving anything up for Lent. Instead I'm starting counselling and trying very hard to regain hope and purpose. I guess I'm giving up despair? I hope that's not cheating.

Unknown said...

Actually, Ash Wednesday is on Wednesday rather than any other day in the week, because for centuries Lent was 40 days and did not include Sundays. Lent ended at midnight on Holy Saturday.

So, we had 6 weeks of 6 days (Monday - Saturday) and four days immediately before those 6 weeks - Saturday, Friday, Thursday, and Wednesday, which makes that day Ash Wednesday, the first day of our 40 days journey.

Unfortunately, now it is difficult for people to determine the length of Lent, since Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are considered a separate "season", making Lent 37 days long if Sundays are not included, and 43 days if you include Sundays. So, what happened our 40 days of penitence?

Danielle said...

I love the ashtray

mschoir01 said...

My result said to give up television, too. Yeow! I'm trying not to gossip - almost as difficult.

How does one inquire after a patron saint of something specific? I am interested to know if there is a patron saint of knitters or knitting. It's not for me, of course, it's for a friend. Well, ok, it is for me, but I do have a friend who would like to know, too...

Anonymous said...

I got caffeine.......diet coke and starbucks. how did it know?

Anonymous said...

The quiz was inaccurate: Told me I didn't have to give up anything. BUZZFEED is enteretaining but...but not geared towards spiritual help (IMHO)

Ren said...

Dear Sister,
Near the beginning of Lent I ordered your Lenten booklets. I just wanted to let you know that they've been very useful and I'm glad I purchased them. You haven't posted lately. I hope all is well.
Sincerely, Kathryn C.

Anonymous said...

+ Dear Sister Mary Martha,

This is not a post intended to be published on the website. It's just the only way I know how to reach you! My name is Jenni and I’m the “Blog Mistress” for a new non-profit named “Leonie’s Longing” (www.leonieslonging.org). We help women who have left religious life to readjust to the world. Primarily, we provide moral and social support, networking opportunities, and prayer. As we raise more funds, though, we’d like to be able to do a lot more. We’re trying very hard to get our name out there, and to that end, we publish a (mostly) weekly blog on issues of concern to women who have left religious life (viewable at the same website).

For Holy Week this year, we’d really love to have some “celebrity” blog authors—and boy do we LOVE you. (I've followed your blog for over a year now, have commented, and even own some of your lovely saint medals! In fact, you once answered my question about what to do about a rudely noisy neighbor living above me. Thank God, I've moved! ;-) Since we're so fond of YOUR blog, we wonder if you might be willing to write a "guest authored" blog post for us for Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday. (Humor is totally appreciated on our blog!) We know that’s coming up fast, and that you’re very busy, but we think it’d be a real encouragement for the women we help if they knew someone like you were speaking directly to them. Do you have time to do this? If not now, might you be able to at another time?

Thank you, Sister, for your time, and for your truly enjoyable writing! :-)

In Him,


Sophie said...

Such a long time without a post, SMM. I hope you (and "Sister Mary Fiacre" if she's a real person) are doing well. Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

Sister, is everything ok? We miss you.