Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New beginning

If you've been out and about today, you've probably already seen folks with smudges on their foreheads.

Hopefully, you haven't reacted to them like Ted Turner did toward some of his employees.

Yes, with Mardi Gras yesterday, we now enter the Lenten Season with Ash Wednesday. For Catholics, Lent is supposed to be a time of spiritual reflection and personal penitence. I'm reprinting some of the details here, but for a full writeup, click away.
  • Abstinence The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.

  • Fasting The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

  • Aside from these minimum penitential requirements Catholics are encouraged to impose some personal penance on themselves at other times.

So, based on that, I've decided to really move ahead on what I wrote last week and make exercise/working out my penance for Lent. Instead of stopping something or giving up something, I've decided to start doing something I really should be doing if I want to be able to get around better and be healthier overall. Now's a good time to start.

I guess that means going to IHOP yesterday for their free pancake fundraiser for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta was my last hurrah.

At least it was for a good cause.

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