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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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ChatterBox

Do you observe Lent?

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ChatterBox

We're coming up to the home stretch now, but I didn't know until recently that not all Christians observe Lent. Lent's the period of 40 days between Shrove Tuesday and Easter, traditionally marked by fasting but now more often marked by giving something up for the period. This year I gave up sweets, which is comparatively easy, but I have heard of rarer ones including a friend who gave up being asthmatic - she didn't give up the disease but she gave up letting it control her or be part of her identity. (The vicar did approve: he said that offering suffering on the alter was quite traditional).

 

Did you give up anything for Lent this year, or have any unusual ways to mark it that you know of?

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Knotical

I don't know too many protestants that actually observe Lent. I have met some, but they are few and far between. This is usually something that is observed by catholics.

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wfredeemed009
We're coming up to the home stretch now, but I didn't know until recently that not all Christians observe Lent. Lent's the period of 40 days between Shrove Tuesday and Easter, traditionally marked by fasting but now more often marked by giving something up for the period. This year I gave up sweets, which is comparatively easy, but I have heard of rarer ones including a friend who gave up being asthmatic - she didn't give up the disease but she gave up letting it control her or be part of her identity. (The vicar did approve: he said that offering suffering on the alter was quite traditional).

 

Did you give up anything for Lent this year, or have any unusual ways to mark it that you know of?

 

 

I gave up sweets one year too! I didn't participate this year though. The practice of Lent has never been emphasized at any Church I've attended, but I've participated just in hopes it'd bring me closer to God.

 

Speaking of Easter... I'm really looking forward to my Church's Good Friday and Easter services more than anything else :)

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ChatterBox
I don't know too many protestants that actually observe Lent. I have met some, but they are few and far between. This is usually something that is observed by catholics.

The Church of England traditionally observes it, and has done for years. Apparently the Protestant churches are about 50/50 on whether they observe it or not.

 

This year the CofE did a study on what people give up, and the results are interesting (I've linked the article below). Between 20% and 30% of the general population observe it. This year they even launched a Lent app, which I think is a little too modern for me!

 

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theophilus

I used to observe Lent but I quit a long time ago. I guess you could say that I give up Lent every year. :)

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thisnthat

I've heard about Lent. It isn't something I practice though. Like @Knotical I thought this was more of a catholic thing.

 

Some people seem to give up their "favorite sins" during Lent. Aren't we supposed to try to do that all the time?

 

 

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Knotical
I've heard about Lent. It isn't something I practice though. Like @Knotical I thought this was more of a catholic thing.

 

Some people seem to give up their "favorite sins" during Lent. Aren't we supposed to try to do that all the time?

 

 

That is pretty much why most protestants don't observe it, since we are supposed to work on moving sin out of our lives altogether, not just "be good for 40 days." It is really just a bad cycle to get into, especially for those who "live it up" on Fat Tuesday, then start giving things up for the following 40 days.

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thisnthat

I think I came off sounding a bit harsher than I intended to do. I'm not trying to judge anyone, but that's just what my observation was with some people.

 

Yes, I almost feel like some people think they have .. permission... to live it up and then "purge" for a bit over a month afterward. I could see myself getting into lots of trouble with a cycle like that.

 

I have a hard enough time doing what I'm supposed to do from one day to another.

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anupamas2

I am a Catholic and I observe Lent. I used to fast for 40 days but this year I am fasting only on Wednesdays and Fridays. I have also given up non-veg this year and every year I do the same. I was born Catholic and have been taught to observe Lent since childhood.

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thisnthat
I am a Catholic and I observe Lent. I used to fast for 40 days but this year I am fasting only on Wednesdays and Fridays. I have also given up non-veg this year and every year I do the same. I was born Catholic and have been taught to observe Lent since childhood.

 

So, is it more of a ritual or does it really mean something to you? If it does have meaning to you personally, can you explain it a little, please? I'm genuinely curious about how it makes you feel.

 

It seems like some folks just go through the motions (of course, that can be true of any religion).

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