On Lent

Lent is always both a good and rough time for me. Every Lent my buddies and I give up meat entirely as well as junk food/sweets. We also increase our martial arts/athletic training frequency and difficulty level. The funny thing is, I normally don’t really eat junk food and only occasionally have sweets. It just seems that once you consciously acknowledge that you aren’t going to indulge in certain things that all of the sudden you want them. As far as going without meat is concerned, I always plan out the menus weekly so that they are packed with other sources of protein.

Consciously going without really makes you aware of how lucky you are to essentially be able to reach out and grab anything you want at whim. With grocery stores and any kind of restaurant you can think of available to you practically 24 hours a day, there are few things that people can crave and NOT have. Imagine if the only thing you had available to eat was what you grew in your own garden or raised on your own farm.

As for increasing the difficulty and frequency of training goes, that’s always an ass-kicker, but it’s a great way to “make better” (a term I prefer to “make over”) my routine.

Last but not least, Lent is a time of increased prayer. There are a few particular psalms that I will read and meditate on. Sometimes I even try to recite them mentally while I work out. Monks used to do so when they worked the land of the monasteries and referred to it as “prayer of fire.” And of course you can never go wrong with Our Lord’s Prayer.

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