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As the season of Lent approaches, you’ve no doubt given some thought to what you want to give up. Rather than taking the path of least resistance, why not consider going all out and giving up something completely ridiculous this year?
The following fasts may not be for the faint of heart, but for those of you who are willing to try them, you may just find yourselves more disciplined, and better prepared to celebrate the joys of Easter. Look to see what ChurchPOP suggests as hardcore things to do for Lent by clicking here.
ChurchPOP is a Christian culture brand that’s fun, informative, and inspirational. We hope you enjoy it!
To use this site to get more out of Lent, consider these resources.
Direction. Where are you going? What are you doing? What do you want to do with your life? You may not remember these lyrics from Twisted Sister’s song, “We’re not gonna take it”, but I think they provide an interesting thought at the start of Lent. What is it that you want your life to be about? What do you want to become? What are you hoping for in life?
The readings today for Ash Wednesday help us to understand the path to happiness. The path to happiness is one done first between God and oneself first. We cannot be concerned about what others think. Do not appear to be fasting. Go to your room and pray in silence. Be generous without seeking approval from others. Why is there such emphasis in the gospel about silence and solitude? Because it is so easy to allow ourselves to seek happiness in a way that depends upon what others think about what we do.
It is easier to ignore others if we are surrounded by people we like who do the same. It is easier to join the “rat race” to wealth when we are in a culture that values such pursuits. It is easier to seek illicit pleasures like pornography when we are behind the safety of a computer screen, convincing ourselves that “everyone does this” and that since I am behind a screen and not with someone else it does not harm anyone. It is easy to cast aside other people as “other” when I do not know immigrants, or refugees, or Muslims, or Democrats or Republicans, or blacks, or whites or hispanics. It is easier to avoid confronting myself if I keep myself so busy I never have to embrace silence in a noisy world.
The first reading also provides us with the guidance about the purpose of Lent too. Lent is first about an invitation. The prophet Joel says, “return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.” Why should we do this? For God is “gracious and merciful . . . slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.” Regardless of what choices we have made in life, there can be forgiveness from God for the repentant heart. We can heal brokenness we have caused. We can heal actions that have used others.
But do not wait. As Saint Paul reminds us, salvation is offered today. “Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Over the past few weeks, The DePorres Pages website has been posting things you might consider for this Lent. This list will continue to be updated over the course of Lent. One addition will be the Lenten Resource of the Day, a suggestion about what you might do or where you might go for spiritual growth this lent.
Also, all of the resources for Lent can be accessed by going to the Menu item at the very top of the page, “Resouces for Lent.”
Remember that the overall goal of Lent is to become closer to God. And we know that to be closer to God also means loving our neighbor more. It seems like People, even me, are just so angry these days. Remember that the life of faith is about a peace that surpasses understanding. Hopefully by focusing on the goals of Lent, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, you will be brought closer to this peace. Happy Lent!
Ready to move beyond just giving up chocolate? Last year we gave you 25 Creative Ideas for Lent. This year, I thought it’d be fun to expand upon that list.
Except, if you know us at Life Teen, you know we like to make things a bit… well… more interesting. So here’s a list of weird things to do for lent. The best part is that even though they’re a bit odd, they will actually help you to be holy!