Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lent: Feasting on Simplicity

There was a time when I lived in Louisiana that Fridays during Lent were the best days of the year. Oh, I'd like to say that it was because I did a great job working on my relationship with God, but I've been very honest about my short-comings while writing this blog and will continue to do so. No, it was because it was a great time for......crawfish!

Here in North Texas, crawfish are harder to come by; a lot harder! There are some local restaurants who offer boiled crawfish, but most don't have a clue about the proper way to season them. There's at least one that I know of that boils the crawfish in plain water and then sprinkles creole seasoning over the shells.

(You have GOT to be kidding me!

There's a few that know what they're doing (and for those in the North Texas area, here's a link to my favorite local authentic Louisiana eatery) but the cost prevents me from being able to buy more than a few pounds. So, once or twice during the year, I purchase some live crawfish and boil them myself.

But back in South Louisiana, the availability of those tasty mudbugs makes them much more affordable. I'm now wondering why am I doing this to myself, and I guess you're wondering where I'm going with this.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I decided to blog about why we abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. In that first post, I wrote about sacrifice. In last week's post, I wrote about penance.

Today is Saturday, and since I was too busy to blog yesterday, I owe you a post.

Abstaining from meat is a way to practice SIMPLICITY

God, by humbling Himself and becoming man, has given us a true example of living. Jesus, born in poverty, lived a life of simplicity and offered His very life for us on the cross, telling us

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." - Matthew 16:24

Gorging on those crawfish was certainly not an example of this, was contrary to the spirit of the action of abstaining, and gave a terrible witness (one of gluttony in fact) to others as to the purpose of abstaining.

Properly approached, abstaining from meat should be offered along with contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer focuses our attention on Heavenly things, fixing our eyes, our hearts on Jesus so that we can hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

When we do this, we learn where our true treasure lies and learn the value of simplicity.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this!!! I live in Cajun Country, and this is one of my pet peeves! Every Friday, I see countless facebook posts of people enjoying expensive seafood, all because it's Lent. I don't know where we, as a people, lost the meaning of "meatless Fridays." I will definitely be sharing this. :)