A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Third Sunday of Lent

The Third Sunday of Lent. That means that we are half way through. Many times I have "given up" something for Lent. When I was younger, our Church didn't tell us to do this, but I had many Catholic friends and they practiced this tradition. We thought it was fun, in a way, to give up candy or potato chips and be like our Catholic friends. I never thought about the reason for "giving up a treat" and to tell the truth...it never lasted. Since becoming a Catholic in my later years, I have tried to understand more about Lent. The following is some of what I have learned.

Lent is all about meditating upon and learning more and more about what Jesus underwent FOR Me. Giving something up for Lent isn't about feeling guilty or trying to take away something you like so that you can feel bad about what Jesus did for you. So if Lent is all about Jesus, why give something up? There are two main disciplines in Lent: Fasting and Abstaining. Fasting means not eating for a certain time (or eating less than usual – a kind of diet). Abstaining means giving something up or going without something you normally have. Why would you do these things if they don't matter to God? So why fast? Why abstain from something? Simple: for the benefit of your neighbor. The truth is, our lives are filled with things which satisfy us, they make us happy, and provide enjoyment--for US! But to give up things that we normally do or use in order to use the extra time or money for prayer, for hearing and studying God's Word or for doing good to those around us--now THAT is something useful. Father Nnaso said yesterday...It's not too late to follow this practice. Maybe you have slipped up and not kept your promise. It's not too late to start again...
Maybe instead of spending your time watching TV, you spent time doing something with your family, like talking to your parents, or spending time with a little kids who look up to you. Or maybe giving up your movie night or video games for awhile in order to take advantage of the extra programs at church. Or maybe giving up fast food a few times a week and putting the money toward an offering at church. Or maybe not eating meat on Fridays to remember that it was His flesh that Jesus gave for the life of the world. Giving things up during Lent isn't about doing without...it's about helping our fellow man and trying to live a Christian life. We have a little cardboard box on our dining table. We fill it with our extra change everyday. It is called "Operation Rice Bowl." It is a collection to help many people in need around the world. Actually, everytime I eat during Lent...this little box reminds me that someone somewhere is starving....couldn't I give up that candy bar and put the money in my little collection box to help out in my small way?



Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Balisha..you are such a kind and delightful person. It is fun getting to know you even though I know that on here is the only way.

I always learn when I visit your blog. I am Catholic but not the best one in the world. I drifted away to a great extent when the children grew up and think if I dropped the ball, so to speak, in raising them, it would be in this department and the thought saddens me.
Thank you for your input on Lent. A wee mental slap up side the head is good now and then. At least for me it is. Starving people around the world. Where is this going? How will it all turn out?


Balisha said...

Hi Mona,
To be truthful...I feel that I dropped the ball with my kids too. My first husband didn't go to Church and that meant that I went alone. I wouldn't blame him for this,it was his choice. It did cause problems once in a while. It was easy to stay home and not go...because we were always busy, with kids, activities, sports you name it. I always admired my Catholic friends...they went to Mass no matter what. I thought, "What do they have that I don't?" Now I am married to a "cradle Catholic" I met his Priest a few years ago, and the story follows...I was inspired to join the Catholic Church. It has made all the difference in the world in my faith. I wish that I had been more diligent in keeping my kids in the Church, but we all make mistakes. This blog allows me to voice my opinion about religion occasionally. I want my kids and friends to know how important religion is to me today.I think it makes me a more thoughtful person.

Margie's Musings said...

Sometimes nothing you do keeps your children in the church gals. We have three who always went to church, always went to camps and even family camp every summer, and who always loved it.

Neither of my boys is in church now. My daughter is still active but she's the only one. We took all our six grandchildren to church and camp too. Only one attends occasionally now.

So sometimes, no matter what you do, nothing helps.

Elenka said...

Thanks for the info. You seem like a VERY thoughtful person.

Roses and Lilacs said...

That's an excellent way to keep charity at the front of you mind. It a good feeling.

coolwaterworks said...

Hi Balisha...

Thank you for this post... Your takes on the Catholic practice of fasting and abstinence is a breath of fresh air... Indeed it is question of how far we are willing to go for Jesus... :)

I am happy we share the same faith... God bless you always... :)

Balisha said...

Thankyou all for your many sweet comments. I think that love starts in small ways.It snowballs and could encompass the world if we let it.I don't want to push religion on anyone...just want some to know how it affects me and maybe it will "snowball."