Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent: The “Lesser Lent”--and food!

As we move more deeply into Advent, many of us are thinking about what this season means—as distinct from Christmas and also from Lent: Advent has long been known as “the lesser Lent.”

There are many ways in which we can prepare ourselves spiritually for Christmas—for the coming of Christ, both at his Nativity in Bethlehem and at his Second Coming. (I discuss some ideas in detail in A Continual Feast, in the section on Advent.)

But one time-honored form of spiritual preparation is certainly abstinence and self-denial with regard to food and drink. A few suggestions for you and your family:

* Abstinence from meat on Fridays—actually, many Catholics practice this throughout the year, as Catholics have done for centuries; also on Wednesday, or another weekday. (A Continual Feast contains a good many tasty recipes for meatless dishes—pasta, vegetable dishes, and fish.)

* The giving up of wine or liquor throughout the period, or at least on certain days of the week.

* The passing up of deserts, sweets, soft drinks—any sort of little pleasure—rather like in Lent. (These things will all taste even better, of course, when we have them again at Christmas!)

These forms of abstinence can all serve to remind us that this is a season of preparation!

1 comment:

  1. And that last one may be a good and holy way to not gain tons of weight during the holiday season, eh?