Spirit of Lent

Lent is upon us and being half Polish I wanted to share with you our tradition to start Lent. We eat donuts called Paczki  because traditionally they were baked to  use up all the sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because their consumption was forbidden during Lent. Now the tradition of eating Paczki coincides with Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras. As you know Catholics are supposed to give up one thing during Lent and to abstain from consuming  meat, just fish. I've noticed amongst my friends alcohol is usually the thing chosen to give up during Lent. Whether you celebrate Lent or not, dedicating some time to a good purpose or service is always beneficial physically, mentally as well as spiritually.
Here's a great website listing something to give up during lent. Suggestions include:

  • Envy – I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
  • Impatience – God’s timing is the perfect timing.
  • Sense of entitlement – The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
  • Bitterness and Resentment – The only person I am hurting by holding on to these is myself.
  • Blame – I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.
  • Gossip and Negativity – I will put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people. I will also minimize my contact with people who are negative and toxic bringing other people down.
  • Comparison – I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.
  • Feelings of unworthiness – You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your creator. (see Psalm 139)
  • Doubt – Believe God has a plan for you that is beyond anything you could imagine. The future is brighter than you could ever realize.
  • Self-pity – God comforts us in our sorrow so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
  • Excuses – A wise man once said, if you need an excuse, any excuse will do.
  • Lack of counsel – Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
  • Pride – Blessed are the humble.
  • Worry – God is in control and worrying will not help.

Yesterday on facebook I saw someone asking what should she give up for Lent since her diet was already clean and one of her friends said that giving up something for Lent was the old way and the new thing is to do generous things during Lent. I came across 40acts which is the triple award-winning challenge from Christian charity Stewardship that invites you to do Lent generously.  The way it works is every day you are emailed a daily challenge of a way to give back to other people. Join here.

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