In Which We Greet the Start of Lent…

No food snaps for this particular entry – and, if you’re the politically-correct sort, you can stop reading right here.
If, like me, you were raised Catholic, the season of Lent ushers in meatless Fridays along with the stern admonition to fast (which is to say, eat just one full meal) and to abstain from meat (as well as all other earthly pleasures).  

Much as I’d like to stay unbiased with regard to religion and religious practices, it irks me whenever those Bible-thumping would-be-preachers tell me that fasting and abstinence are complete and utter nonsense and that, if I were a truly good Christian, I’d turn my back on such medieval practices.

Bollocks to that; and bollocks to them for being such hypocrites!  Truly good Christians respect the beliefs and practices of others.  After all, to be quite religious about it, God called each of us in His own way.  That said, my faith is a matter between me and God – not me, God, and all those heretics who think Catholicism is a crock.  I’ll practice my faith, you practice yours.  End of story.

Fasting and abstinence, in my personal opinion, are actually good practices – especially when food and the appreciation thereof are concerned.  Fasting enables you to see things more clearly, to purge yourself of your negativity through careful deprivation, to be one with Christ during the 40 days when we commemorate His Passion.  Abstinence, on the other hand, is a test: how long can you go without meat (or your usual assortment of vices)?  It’s also a sacrifice, as you get to thinking about the less fortunate.  You get to think how lucky, how blessed you are that you have enough – and yet, you bitch about what you don’t have.

So, contrary to what the Bible-thumpers will tell me, I fasted today.  I abstained from meat.  I will try to abstain from saying something really cutting, keep my anger at the hypocrisy of others to myself, and just ask God to silence their braying and enlighten their minds.  Why?  Because it’s the proper Christian thing to do.