Friday, March 02, 2007

Where's the Beef?!

So what's today!? If you're Catholic then you know that supposedly you don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent. Some people even give something up for 40 days. I think it has something to do with Jesus going up in the mountains and fasted for 40 days. There's more to it than that...but that's all I know. Now here is where I get confused about the whole thing.

I see people give something up...but why? Some of these people don't even know why they're doing it. And the kicker for me is when they give up something but are still doing something else that I think is sinful or just not being honest. Why give up something that you believe is bad only for 40 days? Why not be consistent and just be a good person? Just be a good Christian, all around, for the rest of your life?

Oh well, I didn't write this to fluff some feathers or anything. Today, I just happen to be craving (no, I'm not pregnant) for a nice, juicy, rare steak grilled over charcoal. Thanks Rene!for that post about FF Grill. I'm so salivating right now, I need to stay away from the computer or I'll get electrocuted! LOL! So, did I give up meat for Lent? No way! I don't eat red meat that often so to give it up for Lent, wouldn't make much sense. I practice the Golden Rule. Do unto others before they do unto me.........LOL.........just kidding! I'm a good Christian and I don't pretent to be perfect. But I do to others what I want to be done to me. I am a good person that treat others with love, honesty and respect. And to give up meat would not make me a better or for that matter lesser of a person. I'm consistent in my ways. I don't give up something for the sake of it, or for whatever reason and fall short in other ways in my life. Off my soapbox! :)

How about you, did you give something up? Why?


Rene said...

Great post!
I personally didn't give anything up for lent. Why? Well, first, I'm not Catholic! Or Lutheran, or any of the other sects who practice denying something for 40 days.
However, you know that I'm very interested in differing religious beliefs and traditions. I would love to know more about Lent. Especially the origin of not eating meat. Now people don't eat meat on Fridays DURING Lent. I am pretty sure that when I was a kid (the town I grew up in has a large Catholic population), wasn't it that you never ate meat on Fridays, all year long? And during Lent, I think you didn't eat red meat the whole time, or something??? So I'd love to know when/why that changed. But anyway...

To me, the purpose of denying yourself something that you truly enjoy for the 40 days of Lent (most Catholic/Lutheran women I know choose chocolate - are they CRAZY???) so that you are honoring the 40-day fast that Jesus had prior to his crucifixion. I think that those who choose something that is truly a sacrifice, if they are doing it because they are honoring Christ, NOT because it's what they're "supposed" to do, that it's commendable.

However, do I think it's a necessary thing that should be practiced every year at this time? Something that is "governed" by a group of religious leaders? No. Does the Bible say we need to give up something for 40 days? No.

I completely agree with you about living a good life and being a good person on a daily basis. It reminds me of Valentine's Day. A sweet little holiday where you might get a card, flowers, candy, or something really sweet (like a certificate for a one-hour massage - *hee*, yeah, that's what I got!) is fabulous, especially if it's given in the right manner - heartfelt and full of love. If it's given begrudgingly, and a sort of "ok, here you go, because I know you won't speak to me for a week if I don't remember you on this day", then it's just not worth it to me. I'd rather someone show me their love throughout the year, by being kind, respectful, loving, and caring on a daily basis. Kinda the same sort of thing, don't you think?

Great, thought-provoking post, my love!!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Hey Jozzie! Great to see you at my blog!!
I actually TAKE UP something for Lent instead of give up something (although i've been known to do both). The idea behind Lent really is to try and give up something that is holding you back spiritually, to help you get more in touch with God... hoping that it will prepare you better for Easter.. and, ideally, that it will be something you can continue to give up (my hubby, for example, gave up smoking about 6 years ago for Lent and never took it back up! It was his way of quitting!)
But I like to TAKE UP instead, hoping that I will develop a new habit during those 40 days that will staick with me. This year, I've taken up walking. And, every year, I try and get better about reading my Bible everyday (I usually do a special Lenten Bible study or something) and praying more inentionally. So, this might be a little bit different than what you're thinking as the reasoning behind how a lot of people do it. Plenty of people do do it without really realizing why or not for real spiritual reasons, though, which is absolutely wrong.
(I actually blogged about my plans back on Ash Wednesday!)
Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Oh yeah, I'm Methodist which may be why we do things a little bit different. Lent is Catholic in origin, but a lot of the more "traditional" denominations do it as well--Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodists, etc.

sollie said...

I've given up chips. Well, I want to loose some weight and I did reach my goal. I had to loose 10 lbs and now I'm happy. Now I eat chips once or twice a month
See you soon, Isolde

Theresa Tyree said...

Excellent points that Rene and Cheryl made. On the same note as what Cheryl said, I gave up (don't laugh) garage sale-ing one year for lent. You see, I was SO obsessed with garage sale-ing, it's all I could think about. I'd have my whole week planned around it. I really felt I was putting garage sale-ing before God. I'm talking, I'd get up at 5:30 on Friday and Saturday mornings just to beat the crowds, I'd take the newspaper and map out a route so I could get to each sale more efficiently, I'd even go a day early and try to buy stuff before the sale started just so I could have first pick! So, I gave it up for 40 days (not an easy feat when you're so obsessed with something!) and it has never had the hold on me that it did before that time! Isn't that a miracle?
Great topic! Oh, by the way, I was raised Catholic but I now go to an Assembly of God church. I asked my girlfriend, Debbie, a practicing Catholic about the meat thing and she didn't know why, although she did give up meat on Fridays. I remember as a child we never ate meat on Fridays throughout the year- I think. I'll have to ask mom for sure.