Monday, January 29, 2007

Looking Forward to Lent

I think it was last year when Fr. Seraphim, hearing someone deplore how long it would take until Pascha came around again, said, "How come nobody looks forward to Great Lent?"

Since then, I've been thinking about fasting off and on. Well, thinking, off and on, about fasting.

Today's thought was that I am, in fact, looking forward to Great Lent: I won't feel that I *have* to finish the ice cream. My eating will be simpler when meat and dairy are "not an option." I look forward to fewer trips to the grocery store. (Currently, we must go every week for a gallon of milk. Each.) For whatever reason, I remember* that I lose weight during fasting times.

*This may not actually be the case, but it's what I remember anyhow.

So I find myself looking forward to Great Lent: I get to prepare myself. I am giving myself the freedom to be good, to untie my "needs" for meat and dairy. I am challenging myself to accept this freedom graciously instead of being grouchy for lack of "yummy foods." I am allowing myself to be open to humility by being grateful for the foods I will be eating.

Thank God for the Church. I need her strength to even think about doing this. I need those fasting guidelines so I don't try too much and burn out. After re-reading the Orthodoxwiki entry on fasting (which I think I may have actually written), I get to look forward to focusing on prayer, almsgiving, and going to confession. I usually don't (like to) make the time for these at all, never mind that I do myself a favor by following through with them. When I come into the office on Monday, having gone to chapel all weekend makes me better able to face my co-workers in a Christian manner, despite my Alice tendencies. Dn. Virgil usually takes care of the tithing for our family (I help choose where it goes, he tells me how much and writes the checks), but maybe I can convince him that we can push a little beyond the 10% mark (even if it's just adding a dollar to the Sunday collection). Going to confession is something I dread, but I can push that under the self-discipline for which I am striving; currently I am going to the gym (again) and dieting (a little) to lose a little more weight.

Please pray for me so that my fasting diet doesn't include these words.


Blogger Mimi said...

Prayers for a blessed Lent, as I covet yours.

Mon Jan 29, 02:05:00 PM CST  
Blogger FDR said...

Diakonissa, I too look forward to Great Lent. While I love Pascha, part of me is always sad that Lent is now over.....

Tue Jan 30, 09:00:00 AM CST  

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