Thursday, 10 March 2011

Lent, God & faith

"Becoming by grace what God is by nature..." -St Athanasius

Lent is a Catholic tradition/ritual that has crossed over to other denominations. Even though I don't celebrate the Catholic faith (salvation by works is a daunting belief), I do enjoy the period of self sacrifice and fasting from some type of activity or enjoyment. The word "lent" comes a Germanic word for "springtime" and that's an interesting way to view the weeks leading up to Easter--as a time for a type of spiritual spring cleaning...fasting from the things that might clutter up your faith or your belief system.

The idea of becoming more godly (or Godlike) is an intriguing concept as well. How much do I even know or understand God? I do believe that He exists but how I personally interact with Him is a different discussion. What does it mean to me to become more godly?

Ultimately I think it comes down to self renewal and growth. It's a time for one to look at their life and assess habits or attitudes that might stand in the way of said growth and change, which is why it's usually a good idea to sacrifice something that could be considered a vice or a negative habit in ones life.

Anyway, this Lent I've decided to give up desserts. It's a tough call because there's nothing like going out for a slice of cake with friends or snacking on cookies. In some ways I feel like I pussied out because I should have given up something that would be much more difficult to do without--listening to music, for example. Or no Internet.

I wonder sometimes how much my faith is one of convenience...and I wonder how this convenience has compromised the authenticity of it. Shouldn't devout Christians be willing to give up everything for the God that they worship and love?

I guess we're all in development, constantly being perfected and growing, and I think it would be good for everyone to go through this type of self examination... We can get too comfortable with the way that we are and close ourselves off to changing.

But hey, those are just my random thoughts of the day. That and--my sister broke up with her boyfriend yesterday afternoon. I came home from work to a dark apartment, her curled up in a fetal position in bed, Mr. Cat awkwardly sitting outside her door as if waiting for me to come home and talk to her.

"How did it go?" I ask, standing at the end of her bed.
"Hard," she says. "It was hard to see him cry..." Her voice trails off and she turns away toward the wall.
I feel a twinge of fear as I consider how much I care about the guy in my life and how I would feel if I was in the same situation.

Grace...I have yet to learn the true meaning of that word in my life. It's something to contemplate, for sure.

May you be blessed through this spring, a time of change/renewal/growth/new life, whether you believe in God or not, whether you celebrate Easter and the Lenten period or not, whether you are living with doubts or walking in complete and utter faith.

Peace.



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