Yeah, I “Do” Lent

Bible-Stories-Lent-JT-Blog-Image

 

It’s the day before St. Patrick’s Day in Cork City Ireland and people are concerned about whether they will honour their Lent “resolution”. I was told a while back when I first move here, that “They” usually allow you to “cheat” on St. Patrick’s Day. But that’s not what I’m wanting to write about here. In this conversation that I had with a friend who was trying to justify eating meat (AKA a  West Cork Burger Company juicy blue cheese lamb burger) I told them that I was giving up buying ready made meals for my lunches and dinners at work. That I was going to make all my lunches and dinners at home and .bring them to work. The look of confusion and surprise on their face was astounding! They knew that I wasn’t Christian/Catholic, or any religion in particular so their confusion was justified.

“WTF! Why are doing Lent!?” They exclaimed “Your not Christian!”

No, I’m not, but do I have to of that religion to believe that something is simply a good practice?

Before Christianity people gave up eating meat during this time of the year because their live stock were pregnant and giving birth to more livestock. It was good practice to ensure that they didn’t deplete their herd so that it can multiply and grow. Pancake Tuesday was a way of getting rid of the old eggs, so they can distinguish the new eggs that were laid.  You let these eggs hatch so again you can have more chickens! When Christianity was incorporated into this tradition or vis versa, the old hen that doesn’t lay eggs anymore would have 40 days of pampering  and fattening for it’s final destination as one of the main courses for Easter dinner.

Religion aside, I felt that these are good practices, for cleansing, to go without so you don’t become indulgent. It is a good practice for saving and planning so that you are not caught out. It is a good practice to develop good habits. Making my own meals to bring to work will save me money. I make my own food that is better for me, so I’m healthier. Having more money and being healthier, I’m generally happier! So yeah I “do” Lent because it makes me happy!

 

A Memory Of Lent

images

Growing up in a Catholic community in Colorado Springs Colorado, all the neighbourhood kids would brace themselves for 40 days with no candy or chocolate. But not my Brother & me. Nope. We reveled in the “offering” to “share” our Kit Kat, Snicker, or Hershy bars full well knowing that they gave them up for Lent.  We were the perfect tag team of temptation & damnation. So when the other kids with their inflated sense of superiority would get up on their high horses so that they could look down on us when they declined our offer with a snobby  “No Thanks! I’m giving up candy for Lent!”  We would then shrug & proceeded to eat and savour every sweet lushious morsel right in from them. It was even sweeter if adults were around to witness.

My Brother had the dicipline and controle not to eat the whole candy bar. At 3/4 of the way through he’d stop and say “Are you sure you don’t want this last bit?” When the other kid answered with more biting snobbery; “I can’t! I told you! I gave it up for Lent!” He’ll then say “I don’t want any more, so I guess I’ll throw it away.” At which point the other kid would figit & drool. Oh the thought of this perfectly good piece of candy bar going to waste… Their eyes would dart side to side, scanning to see if anyone of importance is watching.  The breeze stood still. …

Just as my Brother began to pull the candy bar back, their resolve would instantly disinergrate like a delicate snowflake on a hot Summer day. They’d snatch it from my Brother and smash it into their face with very little accuracy, I might add… When their face was covered in chocolate,  and their eyes rolled back into their eyelids fluttering from the ecstasy of such delectable sin, I would say quietly in their ear; “You’re going to burn in Hell for that!”

My Brother and I would stand in reverant silence as they trembled  in their Biblical fear…

Never again were they ever so high & mighty… Well, at least not until the next Lent.

07-candy-bars.w700.h700