July 4, 2020

Lenten Brunch Lite 2: March 7, 2020

Photo from WELSTech Podcast at Flicker. Submitted by Bethany Kempfert (Creative Commons License)

Lenten Brunch Lite 2: March 7, 2020

During the Lenten season, we will offer a “lite” version of our Saturday Brunch. Each week, I will set forth one question (or set of questions) related to keeping Lent and ask us to focus our discussion on it.

Last week we asked about your faith community and its traditions regarding Lent. Today we focus more on the personal side of this season.

Do you take up any particular personal practices in Lent?

Do you do anything special or different with your family or friends during this season?

Is there anything this year that you have felt led to take up (or give up)?

If you have marked Lent for many years, what has been your experience about how your personal experience of the season has changed from year to year and over time?

Comments

  1. Robert F says

    Do you take up any particular personal practices in Lent?
    — Not really, not anymore. I try to be more reflective, kind, and prayerful than is my norm, always aware that I should do those things year round, regardless of the season. This year it has been easier, as the possibility of my own death and the deaths of those especially close to me (most especially my wife) has made me very aware of mortality, and the need to be ever ready for death.

    Do you do anything special or different with your family or friends during this season?
    — My wife and I attend Wednesday evening Lenten services — but then, she is the organist musician for our church and those services, and I’m in the choir, which practices right after the services during Lent. This year our new (and young) pastor has included Holy Communion as part of our Wednesday services.

    Is there anything this year that you have felt led to take up (or give up)?
    — Not really, though I entertained some thought of doing so in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday.

    If you have marked Lent for many years, what has been your experience about how your personal experience of the season has changed from year to year and over time?
    — In the past, I tried hard to practice Lenten disciplines, without much success or feeling that anything came of it. I take a very relaxed approach now. I’m glad the season exists, and I’m glad to be part of a church that observes it, but I don’t measure myself against any standard of performance, or have any expectation for what should happen, as the season unfolds.

  2. In the past I focused on giving up various things for Lent. In more recent years I’ve focused less on giving things up and more on practices such as spiritual disciplines, examining various aspects of faith or conducting self-examinations. This year I’m focusing on several spiritual issues that I’ve been wrestling with for some time. I haven’t done a very good job so far, but the weekend is here and I’m looking forward to spending some time on those issues after I conclude my Saturday errands. Speaking of those errands, I’d better check on my laundry.

  3. Rick Ro. says

    I should do more personally to practice during Lenten season, but don’t.

    I should do things more special with family and friends, but don’t.

    I should feel compelled to do something different this year for Lent, but haven’t.

    Lord have mercy. And thank you DEEPLY for your sacrifice on the cross for the likes of me.

  4. Dana Ames says

    Practices/Take Up: I follow the fasting rule of the Orthodox Church, modified for my health and family circumstances. We all do what we’re doing together. I don’t have to think about what to do, or if I’m doing it “enough”. I don’t read food labels, I simply know what goes into foodstuffs and avoid things that are “mostly” or “a lot of”. I try to give more to the poor, both “officially” through our parish and “unofficially” as in “Give to those who ask of you.” Some days I manage to pray a little more. In the Orthodox Church, even though we have rules, it’s not about keeping score; it’s about becoming more mindful about who and where I am, and more grateful.

    Growing up Catholic, Lent was about ashes and giving up things, mostly favorite foods. I understood about repentance, but as a young person I internalized that as something like “feeling guilty enough.” The blossoming Springtime kept the season from being very bleak for me. As a Protestant, most years were spent ignoring Lent entirely as a “tradition of men” and pretty much worthless. In my last years as a Protestant, when I was among the Presbyterians, Lent was a reflective time, but without much of a connection to the history of the Church. EOrthodoxy is very different from both: keeping a fast of varying lengths before Pascha is something the Church has done through the centuries; the Cross is always in view; Pascha is the goal. It’s truly a bright sadness – sadness that humanity has rejected God and brightness that he did something about that in his love and humility – and an opportunity to get real without an unhealthy level of guilt, if you get my drift. Jesus Christ – not how well I keep Lent – is the center of everything, and a “good Lent” is apprehending and renewing that center.

    Dana

  5. Christiane says

    Lent is touching base with the ways that Christians have responded to Christ’s example of self-giving, even when it meant sacrifice

    I like to watch ‘The Hiding Place’ again which tells the story of the ten Boom family of Holland who saved Jewish people from the Nazis and were themselves sent to concentration camps, where only Corrie ten Boom survived to tell the story. Here is a link:
    https://youtu.be/tDxU1sXcGT4

    I watch also the story of Damien of Molokai, a priest who volunteered to serve the rest of his life out on a leper colony in Hawaii. He did not have leprosy when he went there, but after some years, he was able to say ‘fellow lepers’ when he began his sermons. Here is a link:
    https://youtu.be/0ZEKSHBJtdc

    I have found meaning also in praying in the setting of nature. Natural settings can sometimes help where other settings fail. For me, this true. Here is something I value during Lenten time:
    https://youtu.be/yvjiFIlZ85c
    The Latin introit prayers translate to English, this:

    “””Unto You have I lifted up my soul. O my God, I trust in You, let me not be put to shame; do not allow my enemies to laugh at me; for none of those who are awaiting You will be disappointed.
    Make Your ways known unto me, O Lord, and teach me your paths.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

    People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations: and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart. Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.
    Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

    Skies, let the Just One come forth like the dew, let Him descend from the clouds like the rain. The earth will open up and give birth to our Saviour.
    The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

    People journey together and they also journey within themselves, so we come into community to pray during Lent and we also find what it is that is meaningful to our own souls that touches on the healing power of the Cross. And at the end of the Lenten journey, if we have made this in good faith, the morning of Easter Sunday affirms our faith in ways that heal those parts of our own wounds we have neglected in past times. I can’t ‘explain’ it, no. But I can testify to this that it is true in my own case. It’s personal, but it’s also a ‘shared’ experience and that is a mystery.