Lent Day 5: Sundays are NOT Cheat Days!

According to Americancatholic.org:

Technically, Sundays are not part of Lent. Although we celebrate them liturgically as part of Lent, the Lord’s Day cannot be a day of fast and abstinence. Six weeks of Monday through Saturday gives you 36 days. If you add to them Ash Wednesday and the three days after it, you get the 40 days of Lent.

Some people may find it easier to “give up” something for the entire time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but you are correct in saying that Sundays are not part of the 40 days.

If you’re thinking of having whatever you gave up for Lent on Sundays, I only have one thing to say to that…

Cue Phoenix Wright Music!

The Sundays may not be part of Lent, but Jesus stayed in the desert for 40 days straight. And even after he finished those 40 days, he was still tempted by the devil.

I know you’re probably missing whatever you gave up for Lent by this point. I understand that, believe me.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve given up selfies for Lent. But I think I also mentioned in a previous post that I’m “giving up my crush for Lent.”

What exactly does that mean, you ask?

I’m not gonna make the first move. Or any move, really. If he calls me or makes the first move, I’ll be open to conversation, but I’m not gonna go out of my way to show him how I feel. And it’s not because “the patriarchy says so” or because I’m like my mom and think in this old-fashioned way. It’s because I need a break from all the insanity that comes with having this crush. I don’t want to obsess or overanalyze his every move and word and wonder if he’s thinking about me. I want to be able to use Lent to focus on what God wants. So for Lent, I’m giving God my heart and asking Him to take care of it.

And yet, I still miss my crush. I miss him ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d.

Marianne from Sense and Sensibility By Chris Hammond (1860-1900) (Lilly Library, Indiana University) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Marianne from Sense and Sensibility
By Chris Hammond (1860-1900) (Lilly Library, Indiana University) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

So you know what I do?

To use a phrase known amongst many Cradle Catholics, I offer it up.

Why? I’ll let Rachel and Kateri explain:

And if you’re still wondering if I’m gonna regret doing this later…

A friend of mine told me that she was going on the Paleo diet for Lent. She said that over time, the body adjusts to not having that processed food and all that sugar. By the time a person on the Paleo diet eats cake again, the cake tastes overly sweet because the body didn’t really need all that sugar. And right now, I really want some emotional distance. Or at least the patience and serenity to wait and see what happens next.

I’m also going to share with you this quote from St. Francis of Assisi:

Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves so that He who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally.

So no, I am not gonna “cheat.” Because I like keeping myself accountable and I don’t like loopholes.

I hope y’all understand. And I’ll pray for you, even if you don’t.

Lent Day 33 and 34: The A Word

I know. I’m being more inconsistent than a soap opera lately. I have no excuses.

But it brings up a commonly asked question: Is fasting, prayer, and almsgiving required on Sundays?

Technically no. However, there’s still a type of fasting that goes on during Sunday Mass. The Gloria isn’t sung, for one thing. Some churches choose to pray the Apostle’s Creed instead of the Nicene Creed. The kyrie and Agnus Dei are sung in their original language (Greek and Latin, respectively). But there’s also something missing. It starts with the letter “A” and means “He is Risen.”

It’s “Alleluia.” 

Why don’t we say it during Mass during Lent? Because Lent is supposed to reflect on Jesus’s time in the desert along with his Passion and death. It’s also a common Catholic practice to not say “Alleluia” at all until Easter arrives. It’s kind of the equivalent of keeping a surprise party secret.

And if there are changes made in the Mass during Lent, we have to apply these changes to our Lenten resolutions as well. So don’t think that just because it’s Sunday, you can have your cake and eat it. The cake is a lie anyway.