Ash Wednesday

Today always reminds me of the friend who gave up Catholicism for Lent one year.  :) 

I grew up born-again, in a church that was a megachurch before megachurches were cool, in a small, fairly fundie denomination.  I was so “low church” I didn’t know what “low church” was

I was baptized Episcopalian at St Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle when I was 27. 

I realize it’s not uncommon for adults to seek for the things their childhood religion didn’t hold.  :)  In my case, it also means that I don’t have the childhood associations with, say, Lent, that someone who grew up Catholic or Episcopal might have.  

The friend who gave up Catholicism for Lent did so because she felt too bound by the rules and the requirements.  For example, she has medical issues that make fasting impossible, which usually means one is exempt from fasting.  Even so, she felt she should, and was “failing” by not fasting.  

In my case, the rebellion I tend to have against dieting strictures doesn’t kick in over Lenten restrictions.  Last year I did not consciously decide not to eat meat1 on Fridays.  I just found I really didn’t want to eat meat on Fridays.  

It’s weird.  

The general Episcopal view of fasting, as I understand it, is:  “All can; some should; none must”. This year I sat with myself and thought about it. Yes, I will probably not eat meat on Fridays. (I didn’t today, either.  I also warned the man of the house.)  But I also don’t have anything I want to give up, per se. Instead, I’m adding more exercise2. With my right leg as unhappy as it is, I’m starting slow, with physical therapy exercises and 10 minutes of walking each morning. But I’m doing it, and that’s the important part.
 

 


1 Eggs, dairy, and seafood: yes. Chicken, beef, pork, mutton, venison, and other land animals: no. Not really a hardship. I tend to only eat seafood at one meal.
2 I quit doing the bus thing – the transit system’s “revision” of the buses in my area doubled my transit time and reduced the walking time. Considering it’s also cheaper to drive, well…

2 thoughts on “Ash Wednesday

  1. Yeah, I always had that one friend who would give up Catholicism for Lent, too. She really did it because we were in college, on campus, and her body rejects seafood of any kind. Not because she’s allergic to iodine, though. We never figured out why, but we just assumed it was because she was a Pisces and eating seafood equaled cannibalism.

    Oddly enough, she found out last year that she could handle sashimi.

  2. I was raised Catholic, as was my husband, and we rarely eat meat on Fridays, Lent or not, out of habit, even though he’s now an atheist and I’m an Episcopalian. We had mushroom pizza pretty much every Friday growing up, because both sets of our parents grew up as pre-Vatican II Catholics when not eating meat on Friday was very much required and emphasized. I find myself making fish or ordering the mushroom pizza most Fridays, without even thinking about it.

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