The only actual restrictions placed on people by the church during Lent are fasting and abstinence. On Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent, Catholics from age 14-60(ish) are required to fast. Fasting, for the church, stipulates that only one full meal be taken during that 24 hour period.
Abstinence doesn't mean abstaining from sex, but rather abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays. The church generally allows the consumption of fish, but I personally take it one step further and I try not to consume the flesh of any once-living sentient creature. So I stay strictly vegetarian on Fridays.
The third thing is generally more Protestant in nature, but Catholics do it all the time, and that is making some sacrifice. The idea is that you give up something you really love. It's symbolic (in a small way) to Jesus' ultimate sacrifice for all of us, and largely about the temptation he faced during his 40 days in the desert. All the fasting and sacrificing is supposed to teach us something about temperance.
So what am I giving up for Lent? Cussing. Foul, profane language. Some of you might be laughing your asses off right now. People who know me IRL likely believe I'm doomed to fail. The way I see it is, so long as I don't give up and continue to try, I haven't failed. But, as they say, we learn more from our failures than we do our successes.
And why set myself up for failure? Why sacrifice something that I know I have only the slightest chance of actually accomplishing? Well, my opinion is that if you're sacrificing something you absolutely know you can do without for 40 days, then you're not really sacrificing a whole lot.
That sounds mighty judgmental, but that's only how I feel for myself. If you find meaning in making a small sacrifice then that's great. Whatever helps improve your own spirituality is great. But for me, the sacrifice must be great, and it must be difficult.
So on this Fat Tuesday, the day we are to gorge on what we will give up, I'm going to gorge on profanity. Here is a list of words that I will not allow myself to say. My faithful readers, please feel free to add to the list in the comment section. Make sure the words are those that are *actually* considered to be profane.
Anal (coupled with some other word. Anal sex is a technical term and thus safe to use)
Bastard (I will use the term "illigitimate child" if referring to a bastard child)
Box (used in the context of slang for "vagina")
Cunt (yes, ladies, I'm sorry to admit that I've legit dropped the "C" word)
Damn (unless it's in the Bible or some other text)
Dick (unless your name is Richard)
Dildo (only in the sense of name-calling, ie. "you dildo." Naming the implement does not count.)
Dong (unless it's some Chinese name. Dong salad anyone?)
Dyke (unless it's a ditch)
Dumbass (dumb, idiot, moron, stupid, ignoramus are all acceptable substitutes.)
Faggot (and fag. Yes, I'm guilty of this one, too. But *never* towards an actual gay person. Sorry.)
Fairy (see "Faggot")
Hell (ie "what the Hell.")
Shit-ton (this includes the phrase "metric shit-ton.")
Slut ("promiscuous" is an acceptable alternative)
Whore (can be substituted with "prostitute.")
And of course, my personal favorite . . . FUCK. Also, no profane gestures. So here's the last of this you'll see for the next 40 days. Wish me luck!!!
|Hope you enjoy Lent as much as I will =(|