Today is the first Friday of Lent, which means that anyone strictly Catholic vows to not eat meat on this day until Good Friday in March. It is a fasting. They are not obligated to do it of course, but I guess if they want to get into heaven, it is essential to be as holy as possible and follow the “rules”. I am a Catholic person but I don’t follow the religion quite as strictly as others, mostly because I want my freedom and I think the religion is so old fashioned anyway.
It has been a while since I have followed the season of Lent and practiced getting in touch with my inner faith and I have decided this year to focus on it more.
During this season, Catholics choose to give up one thing that they take for granted every day until the end of the season. It is a way of representing the abstinence from sinful deeds and resisting temptation. The forty days of Lent represent the time Jesus was in the wilderness and resisting Satan’s temptation.
What am I giving for Lent, I ask myself?
That is a difficult question.
I definitely don’t want to give up the Internet or social media because that would be ridiculous.
I wouldn’t want to give up video games either.
Porn? That would be monumental.
This is more of an internal struggle and a matter of if it really is worth giving up something and making life a little harder.
According to the Gospel Herald, the majority of people in my state of Michigan chose to give up alcohol, which says a lot about my culture – most of us are drunken idiots. A surprising one from that chart above is the people of Oklahoma giving up fear. Wah? So they must not be afraid of anything for over a month? I suppose this could be any one specific fear, like fear of heights (acrophobia) or fear of public speaking (glossophobia, I have that). A great way to build character and mental strength I guess. Interestingly, the only state to give up the Internet entirely, and not just social media, is Delaware.
Matthew 6:16-18: “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
This is the season celebrating the rebirth or Resurrection of Jesus, when he rose from the grave and ascended into heaven. When all hope for his followers (many on Twitter) was suddenly reignited. Similarly, during Lent, anyone who practices it can go through a kind of “rebirth” or reincarnation, figuring out who they are again and working to do things right this time.
I do give into the notion that we all are eventually reincarnated as another person or animal. When we die, our soul escapes from its container and rushes to find another host, and what that is depends on what happened in life. It’s kind of weird to say this, but I believe we all have a past life as someone (or something) else. We’ve all seen the world through a different set of eyes other than our own but just don’t realize it, because it all seemed to happen in an instant. It’s hard to imagine where I was before I was born, how all of a sudden I’m here, in this century, fully aware, while I could have been living in any of the previous years of human history.
Where will I go when I die? What new lifeform will I take on?
I have no slight idea, but whatever it is, I hope it’s not a stationary object like a bookshelf, because it would suck not being able to move and staring at the same room for ages. I’d rather come back as an ant or bug, just so I can live out my dream of seeing life at a miniature level. Perhaps I have done enough good things to deserve that. A bird would be awesome as well.