ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What are you giving up for Lent?

Updated on February 21, 2012

Now that Christmas and all its excesses is firmly behind us the Christian church is preparing for the season of Lent, which remembers the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil, if scripture is to be believed, before his entry into Jerusalem. The forty days run from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter Sunday) and so called because the crowds waved palms before Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. The day prior to Ash Wednesday is known as Shrove Tuesday when traditionally Christians made their confessions and were 'shriven' of their sins and food containing fat and eggs were eaten (today we eat pancakes) in preparation for the day of fasting and abstinence that is Ash Wednesday.

For centuries Christians have been exhorted 'to give something up for Lent'. Chocolate, sugar, alcohol and tobacco were usually top of the list and along with meat on a Friday. However the Catholic church in this country have now reintroduced the practice of abstaining from meat on a Friday but personally I do not think this is a 'big deal' as I would rather have fish and chips than a beef burger any day! The abstinence from meat on a Friday has always been a bone of contention (perhaps an unfortunate choice of words!) since I was able to reason, I could not understand why we were told that a slice or two of corned beef in a sandwich on a Friday was against the rules and yet a succulent steak of salmon (which we could never afford in our family) was perfectly acceptable.

The abstinence from tobacco and alcohol was difficult for many people for it was an escape from the reality of the harshness of life. It was not that either were comsumed in large quantities but were seen as luxuries to be enjoyed after a hard week's work. The withdrawal symptoms caused short tempers and frayed nerves and for a time there was an uneasy peace in many households. The money saved by refraining from buying alcohol and tobacco was not always given to the cause for which it was intended but instead was spent on necessities such as shoes for the children.

When my own children were small I obviously encouraged them to think about giving something up for Lent but this was not very successful. Sure they gave up sugar in the tea but when Lent was over they decided they liked tea better that way and to this day do not take sugar at all!

I have given up various things over the years and the charity box has benefitted by a small amount but I did not feel I had made any great sacrifice. I felt selfsatisfied and smug when saying no to a glass of wine during a Lent when I had given up alcohol and passing the box of chocolates on with a 'Oh no, not for me, I have given them up for Lent!' I came to realise that those feelings did not, for me, capture the true spirit of Lent. After all, I had bought neither the wine nor the chocolates but had let my ';sacrifice' become public. Perhaps the true way in Lent would be not to focus on giving up my pleasures but rather give more of my time and myself to others. I could deny myself chocolate if I chose and put the money not spent in the charity box but rather than give up something tangible my 'sacrifice' this year will be something different. I hope to take every opportunity I see to do a random act of kindness, whether it is a smile to a stranger, shopping for a neighbour or giving a hug if it is needed. So this Lent I am not giving up anything but rather giving away that which I have been blessed with in abundance - love - and hope that it is contagious!







Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)