The Lenten Promise

As an Islander (Mom is from Haiti, Dad is from Trinidad), I was baptized Catholic, because it’s practically a law – if you’re from the Islands, you’re going to be Catholic.

Caribbean_general_map
Image via Wikipedia

And for your info, both Haiti and Trinidad are above. Haiti is partners with the DR, and Trinidad is down there, off the coast of Venezuela. When folks find out my parents are from these islands, they often ask me if they’re in Africa, so to avoid embarrassment, there they are!

So, back to the topic at hand. I went to Catholic School for a few years, got my communion, did the whole shebang, and here’s what we were taught about Lent. Following Fat Tuesday, where you’d indulge in all the gross awful things life has to offer, you’d fast or abstain from something that is tempting to you for 40 days and 40 nights, to observe the 40 years the Israelites wandered the desert, or the 40 days Jesus wandered around in the dessert while rude old Satan tried to tempt him.

I think challenging yourself is 100% cool – and even though I’m not a practicing Catholic, I totally respect everyone kinda of jumping into this tradition, and abstaining from those things that will distract you from being the best you, and the best you to other people.  For some of you that is social media, for some, your smart phone, for others it might be soda.  Whatever, it is that’s distracting you from living your best life and aiding others, that’s kind of the idea.

Thanks Mama Oprah.  So here’s my issue with some of these Lenten Promises I’ve been seeing.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that people are starting to use Lent as their dieting tool, and to me, it sort of defeats the purpose of Lent. 

Like it’s totally fine to give up fried foods for Lent, especially if fried foods turn you into a bump on a log and you don’t do anything with yourself.  But if you’re giving up fried foods for the purposes of losing weight?  That’s not necessarily the point of Lent.

If sugar turns you into a monster and deflects your focus from being a good person, give it up!  But if you’re doing it to get bikini ready?

If candy is like heroin to you, and it’s keeping you from saving money for you and your family, give it UP.  But if you’re trying to get cut abs?

Am I making sense?  Have you noticed this as well? Are you practicing Lent?  What are you abstaining from? 

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2 thoughts on “The Lenten Promise

  1. First, let me say that I am an Easter/Christmas Catholic. I try to do things in Lent rather than giving them up. For the past two years, I have been adding time to my workout or adding something new to my workout routine. This year I am adding swimming and yoga. However, I will not eat meat on Fridays during Lent. I just can’t shake that one.

    1. Wow, I really like that idea, of adding something rather than taking it away. Hmmm, I wonder what I could add that would make sense! Maybe I’ll add a few extra minutes of sleep! Lol!

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