Time for another rant about Lent

With Ash Wednesday behind them, online friends of Hollywood screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi braced themselves for what has become a Lenten tradition -- fasting-day manifestos from the witty former nun."It's a Friday of Lent dear Catholic brethren. And you know what that means," she wrote on Facebook. "Corporate Sacrifice Power Activate! No meat. No braised oxtail. No venison medallions. No veal short ribs. No rabbit sausage. NO MEAT. No Muscovy Duck. No Turkey jerky. No Kangaroo Loin Fillets. … [Read more...]

Lent and Easter, in blood, sweat and ink

The graphic tattoos that cover the bodies of millions of Russian prisoners symbolize their sins and crimes, their pain and suffering.Some of the tattoos are beautiful and hint at redemption. Others are disgusting, especially those etched involuntarily into the faces of victims by other prisoners as punishment for especially shameful crimes behind bars or on the outside.Put all of these images together, said artist Scott Erickson, and they tell the stories of broken people. That's the big … [Read more...]

Now that’s a tough Lent

It was a decade ago during Lent that author Lauren Winner was visited by an angel, unawares."Actually, it was my priest," said Winner, who teaches Christian spirituality at Duke Divinity School. "I have learned that people in my life often tell me what I need to do during Lent. ... It's kind of like hearing from angels."Although the voice wasn't miraculous, Winner thought it would take a miracle to follow her spiritual guide's advice. The challenge was deceptively simple: Could she give up … [Read more...]

Fasting, for evangelical Protestants?

Elmer Towns had a big problem three decades ago after he moved to Lynchburg, Va., to help a Baptist preacher named Jerry Falwell start the school that grew into Liberty University.Month after month, Towns faced two house payments -- a real family crisis. Thus, the veteran Bible professor decided to try something that he considered a radical, "Old Testament thing." In addition to praying that someone would buy the house back in Chicago, Towns and his wife Ruth began fasting on the day that … [Read more...]

One thing about Lent

Faithful fans of ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" know that former NFL lineman Mike Golic takes great pleasure in skewering his urbane shrimp of a partner, Mike Greenberg.But in recent weeks, the sarcastic jabs by the University of Notre Dame graduate began drawing an ominous canned response from the producers -- a doomsday choir chanting "Golic's going to hell."You see, Golic vowed to make a big sacrifice this year for Lent, the 40-day penitential season that precedes Easter. When he was … [Read more...]

Nervous believers in Year 18

Religious folks sure get nervous when public officials talk about "fundamentalist" gunmen invading a school.Consider what happened recently after a staged emergency at Burlington Township High School in New Jersey. The police script for the drill called for armed men to crash the front doors, shoot several students and barricade themselves in the library with hostages. This document, according to the Burlington County Times, described the intruders as part of "a right-wing fundamentalist group … [Read more...]

Lutherans in non-Roman Lent

Eric Phillips really likes soup at lunch.One of his favorites is baked-potato soup, a filling option that, at first glance, appears to be meat-free. That's important because Phillips isn't eating meat during the 40 days of Lent preceding Easter. Alas, baked-potato soup almost always contains chicken fat, as do many vegetable or pasta soups."I gave up meat for Lent last year, which was a pain in the neck," said Phillips, who has a Catholic University of America doctorate in Patristics, the study … [Read more...]

A short test for Lent 2006

Now that Ash Wednesday has passed, the world's 1 billion or more Roman Catholics have entered the season of Lent.It's time for a short test.During this holy season of penitence and reflection, America's 62 million Catholics are required to:(a) Go to confession.(b) Abstain from meat and fast by eating only one full meal on Fridays.(c) Pray and meditate on biblical accounts of the suffering and death of Jesus, including attending weekly Stations of the Cross rites or an extra Mass.(d) I … [Read more...]


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