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Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christian Post ^ | February 22, 2012 | Alex Murashko

Posted on 02/22/2012 3:08:12 PM PST by NYer

The season of Lent begins not only for millions of Catholics by having placed a sign of the cross on their foreheads with ash on Wednesday, but with many Christians in and outside of denominations vowing to mark the season with acts of faith.

Though Lent is often seen as part of the Catholic tradition of fasting for 40 days (calculated sometimes to exclude the weekends in the days leading to Easter), many Christians view this time as serving as a reminder to the importance of getting closer to God.

Christine Smith, founder of the online site Womens Bible Cafe, wrote on Tuesday, "Throughout biblical history we see 40 days of testing, waiting and drawing closer to God."

Smith said that Lent typically marks a spiritual quest for Christians and the Bible has several examples of 40-day tests and journeys.

"Look beyond the face of religion and into the heart … and see if God is calling you for the next 40 days," she stated. "Does He want your attention and your heart focused on Him?"

While Protestants generally do not mark their foreheads with ashes from last year's Palm Sunday ceremonies – a tradition mainly observed in the Catholic and Anglican churches – they hold special services and give special prayers for repentance and renewal on the holiday.

Among the few Protestants that do use ash in their observances are Lutherans and Methodists. In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance – a day of contemplating one's transgressions.

Oftentimes, in the days leading to Easter, Christians of all denominations choose to abstain from eating, drinking or doing certain things to remind them of the Lord's sacrifice for mankind.

Some pastors outside of the Catholic faith say that although Lent is not a requirement, focusing on God by way of fasting and other faith-related practices is a good idea in the weeks and days before Easter.

Steve Crenshaw, pastor and founder of the leadership ministry Pinnacle Balance, said his family observed Lent for the first time in 2008.

"We gave up television and video games and spent much more time praying and studying the Bible together," Crenshaw recently wrote on Pinnacle Balance's Website. "We fast for six days taking Saturday or Sunday off because there are actually 46 days in the seven weeks from Ash Wednesday to Easter."

He acknowledged in his article that "celebrating Lent as an Evangelical can be awkward" but he emphasized that it can also be "eye-opening."

"It can be awkward because most of the people you know will think you are weird or trying to earn God's favor. It can be eye-opening because you can learn what really has a hold on your life, and how far you are from putting Christ first."

Crenshaw believes that although Christians can "take 40 days and fast any time we want," doing so during Lent is a way to help prepare for Easter and the celebration of Christ rising again.

"For many of us abstaining from anything could be a big breakthrough in our faith because we over indulge so much in American Christian society," he said.

Smith enlisted the help of other Christian leaders who frequently use social media in making suggestions that she included in her article, "Ideas for 40 Days of Fasting or Lent."

Under the section of her article headlined 40 Days of Prayer, she wrote that Mike Kelly of the Bible Memory Coins ministry suggests memorizing Scripture.

Smith quotes Kelly as saying, "Too often our minds are filled with TV, social media, newspapers and general busy-ness. How revolutionary to our spiritual life would it be to truly feed our hearts and minds exclusively with Scripture for 40 Days?"

Another suggestion listed under 40 Days of Praise is to change the radio station in your car or on your computer to Christian music and "listen exclusively for the next 40 days."

"Scan YouTube for Christian songs and save your favorites in your profile," Smith stated. "Richard of writes 'Praise and worship are contrasted with attachments to or pursuits of things honored by the world.'"

While offering suggestions, Smith noted that "the decision to spend 40 days focused on God is yours alone."

"Pray over this and see if you are led to do something or possibly wait for another time. Know that during your 40 days you with God you will attract the attention of the enemy and he will throw flaming arrows your way. Stand firm with the shield of faith and keep your eyes and heart on God," she said.

TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: episcopal; lutheran; methodist

1 posted on 02/22/2012 3:08:22 PM PST by NYer
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To: All
Episcopal priests offer 'Ashes to Go' as Lent begins
2 posted on 02/22/2012 3:09:53 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Baptists [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
8 Ways to Pray During Lent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Baptists, Lent, and the Reformation Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges

Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (Muslim converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]
Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent
Lent: A Time to Fast >From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

3 posted on 02/22/2012 4:24:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer
The English word "Lent" for the 40 days of fasting before Easter is originally just a word for "spring"--the Dutch word for "spring" is lente. The word is related to the word "lengthen"--it's the time of year when the days are getting longer.

Obviously the Anglo-Saxons when they converted to Christianity were not living in the Southern hemisphere.

4 posted on 02/22/2012 6:08:27 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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