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Lent's coming up--Lenten disciplines?


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Not sure what I'm going to do this year. I try to add something and cut back or eliminate something, beyond the extra study we do at church (which doesn't feel like a discipline since it's fun and includes a simple potluck....).

 

How about you?

 

Oh, and Easties, when does your Lent start? Is it the same as ours this year? ( Mar 5th Ash Wed)

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I usually do no sweets or soda and will do that again. And additionally I'll try to make sure that the stuff I do eat is healthy--food the way God intended it to be!

 

I don't have plans to add any additional studies beyond what the girls and I do (in the middle of the Screwtape Letters and The Hiding Place) and what we do for our Sunday school class. Not sure where I'd find the time to do more! But if an interesting book comes along I could try to add something inspirational to read.

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Lent starts next Monday for Eastern Orthodox Christians.  We share the same Easter/Pascha date this year, but Lent always starts for us on a Monday.  It has to do with how we count the days in Lent , but I can't remember what it is exactly.

 

Our prayers will change slightly too.  We add the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian to our daily prayers.   My lenten diet isn't as strict as most EO due to dietary issues and a non-EO husband.  So, I hope to cut down on portions (walk away from the table hungry)... and of course, the church father's always encourage us to concentrate on changing our hearts more than we concentrate on our diet.

 

Here's the prayer for St. Ephraim for anyone interested:

 

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth (laziness), despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity (purity), humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother (and sisters), for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

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I'm with Patty Joanna -- I'm so ready for Lent. We try to do the traditional Eastern fast (no animal products, no wine, no olive oil) combined with going to church more. That last part is the part I'm ready for. I guess pressing through it all is what I am ready for.  Lord have mercy. Our priest is going to be teaching from Great Lent by Fr. Alexander Schmemann on Thursday nights.  I read this every year and it's so, so good. 

 

I can't believe this is our fifth Lent! Good Lent to all.

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As a family we give up all extra curricular activities other than school and church. It is a time to focus on one another, our household, and strengthen our family. Every year the number of activities we find ourselves wanting to return to diminishes. It is as though we agree to do things out of obligation rather than joy.

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I would like to fast more this year. Because of GI issues, I've had a lot of emotions tied up with eating so I've avoided fasting in recent years. Now I'm physically much more stable than I have been.

 

Last year, we all went to Mass everyday at 7 am. That was the best Lent ever. This year we can't do 7 am because of dd's schedule but we're going to try to go everyday again.

 

One year, as a discipline, I got out of bed immediately when the alarm went off instead of pressing the snooze button a few times. That can have the benefit of making more time for prayer.

 

I also made a commitment one year to put the laundry away immediately. I think that was a blessing for dh. The bedroom was less cluttered and he had clean socks and underwear on a consistent basis. :)

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AND

 

My daughter and I already abstain from meat all the time so, unless we choose something else to abstain from, I'd feel we weren't doing much. Lent is the time we usually select our Friday abstinence for the year.

 

In addition to our regular practices and devotions we have Friday evening dinner and stations.

 

My daughter and I will also be doing the 33 day consecration again. We have done this before and really lived doing it and since we haven't done it I a few yrs, we thought it was time.

 

We also make a crown from some vine that grows here and fill it with toothpicks a la crown of thorns. Acts of service, kindness, sacrifice, et c mean we can extract a thorn from Our Lord's crown and place it in a silver bowl we have by it. On Easter morning when we wake a miracle has occured! The thorns are gone and something lovely is in their place.

 

Of course the Robin red breast and dogwood feature prominently and we have a bare branch and on Easter morn it is covered with flowers.

 

My 14 year old still loves these stories and so do my husband and I and we never tire of them.

 

On Good Friday after stations we observe silence.

 

I feel like there is other stuff and am sure there is . . . But I'm not thinking of it right now.

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I had given up sodas a couple years back during Lent, but back to drinking them again. So will be giving up soda, kit kats, and fast food.  Will be doing a bible study with my son, not sure which yet.  Will be reading Thomas Merton's Contemplative Prayer and St. Teresa of Avila: Life of Prayer

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I'm giving up elevators so will be taking the stairs. My office is on the fourth floor of an old warehouse building (so more like 6 stories than 4) and I hope to use that climbing time for brief reflection and mindfulness of sacrifice.

 

From a fasting perspective, I'm going to try to stop eating off the kids' plates. I know that sounds strange, but I do it without thinking several times a day. I'm hoping that it will be give me lots of opportunities for mindfulness - both about how I eat and about sacrifice.

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Wow, how did Lent totally sneak up on me this year? I kept thinking it was starting much later than last year so I had plenty of time. It looks like this weekend I need to figure some things out for it. I did buy candles the other day for our candle wreath. :) I do know we will be having pancakes and bacon Tuesday night. For Lent we do a nightly family devotional time with candles, scripture reading, hymn singing, prayer, and sometimes activities. Last year I planned a nightly activity ahead of time. I'm not sure right now if we will do that or not, but I'm thinking for scripture we will read through the book of Luke. I also need to figure out what hymns we will be learning. I usually pick out like 7-8 hymns. I haven't decided yet about anything I will be giving up but a big one is always trying to spend less time online and more reading the Bible. Here is a link to my blog posts last year about Lent. I have really neglected my blog this year though. :001_unsure:

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Patty Joanna - Beautiful.  Thank you for sharing.  

We attend a non-demoniational church that integrates liturgy into our services.  So Lent is observed within our community and has been for several years now.  This year our pastor is incorporating a bit more, which I absolutely love.  

 

My personal fasting is something that I keep between God and myself.  Along with what Patty posted about the Repentance, I approach it as, "God..I *really* want XYZ right not but..I want You SO much more."  As hard as fasting is, that repentance and reconnection is so sweet.  

 

This year we are going to do a few things as a family to observe the season.  We will be doing the daily office (morning, afternoon, and evening), attending house church 1x/week (something our church is doing during the season however I hope it is something they continue!), and no electronics on Sunday (dh and I actually started implementing this a bit recently but we will be more purposeful about it during Lent).  

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We started Lent with Forgiveness Vespers on Sunday.  Every night this week, there's a part of the 4-part service of repentance called Saint Andrew's canon.  Press on!  "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." 

 

 

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I have never done Lenten disciplines and I'm not sure it even make sense to do so, since things have changed in my beliefs. However, I am drawn (abruptly, starting just today) to making a sacrifice for Lent. I am strongly leaning towards all unnecessary media. So, no FB, no WTM, no mindless Amazon browsing, etc. and no unnecessary TV (leaving aside the weather and news dh and I watch in the morning).

 

I would also like to add reading something spiritual and edifying each morning, maybe before bed as well...anyone know a good free source or site where I could do that? I'm thinking something short, something to make me meditate on a quality to improve daily or similar idea.

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I would also like to add reading something spiritual and edifying each morning, maybe before bed as well...anyone know a good free source or site where I could do that? I'm thinking something short, something to make me meditate on a quality to improve daily or similar idea.

You could consider reading about the saints commemorated each day, if you're interested. You can find them here: http://oca.org/saints/lives . I think learning about the saints has been one of the biggest boons to my faith in the last five years. Not sure if this is your area of interest or not though.

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When I was a Christian, I honored/celebrated Lent. The most meaningful ones for me were when I gave up *behaviors* and not luxuries. For example, the year I gave up "complaining" was powerful! It highlighted how often I was inclined to complain. That was one level. The next level was that when I had those moments, I also had to stop, ask for "intervention" and rely on a power greater than myself to NOT complain. Finally, I then realized how often I complained (or, I've done gossip, yelling) as compared to how often I thought about God.

 

I'm thinking of a honoring the season of Lent this year - in a quirky Joanne-esque spiritual way - because of my previous Lenten transformations and epiphanies.

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That's really good, Joanne.  Our priest sends out a cartoon each year of a man who gripes at his family, yells at other drivers on the road, grumbles at work, etc. -- but who then (in the final scene) asks for soy milk at the coffee kiosk because he's fasting dairy for Lent.  Sigh.  I've heard a priest say, "If you're grumpy with everyone all the time during Lent, go eat a hamburger if that would help."  We do take the dietary regulations seriously during Lent, but the point is repentance, and it's the issues of our heart that need repenting of.  Thank you for this reminder as we enter Day 3! I really do appreciate it and hope your Lenten struggle is fruitful.  Good strength!

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Last year I gave up Amazon for Lent.  It was HUGE for me, I buy a lot of books and I do a lot of casual shopping there as well.  It was a great way to remind me every day about making better financial choices.  The Lenten practice stayed with me much longer.

 

This year I will be absaining from sugar and diet soda, as well as Amazon. 

 

I will be at the library tonight!

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We normally do Morning Office, but during Advent and Lent we add additional readings as a family in the evening.

 

Some of our readings vary, but we always do our Jesus Tree. It's like a Jesse Tree, only instead of looking at the OT foreshadowings of Jesus, we journey through His life and ministry, ending with Resurrection.

 

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Here's another site for readings:

 

http://www.ccel.org/

 

The divine office is available online. I've used the sites www.universalis.com and www.divineoffice.org because I'm on a computer. www.divineoffice.org has audio which can help keep me focused on spacey days but there's advertising. The recordings of the hymns are usually nice. Dh likes something called breviary for the ipad.

 

 

 

 

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