Monday, February 21, 2011

My Lenten Traditions

March 9 is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent and many traditions that I observe during the next 40 days. These traditions include: fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, abstaining from eating meat on Fridays, spending more time in prayer and performing some sort of penance.

I’m not going to be preachy; I am only sharing the traditions I observe during the Lenten season. It helps me get my head straight and in general, going in the right direction. God knows I get detoured far too often.

The fasting and abstinence are pretty self-explanatory. They both promote self-discipline, something I definitely need.

For the praying part, I intend on saying the Holy Rosary every day. It is a practice that I have gotten away from recently. It was something that I used to do on a daily basis with Dad and Lent is the perfect way to get back in the habit.

The last tradition, penance, is one older Catholics might recall. A popular form is to give up something that you enjoy or fond of. Typically, children would give up candy, their favorite soft drinks or even a favorite TV show. Things that adults might give up are alcohol, junk food or some form of entertainment.

For my Lenten penance, I traditionally abstain from pizza. Any of you that know me well, realize that this is a true sacrifice for me. Pizza is easily my favorite food. That is why it is what I choose to abstain from during the 40 days of Lent. The long 40 days of Lent.

I remember the first time I explained why I give up pizza to Bev, my friend from England. At first, I think she thought I was crazy. However, the next time I spoke with Bev, she proudly announced that she was giving up crisps for Lent. I should explain that crisps are what the English call any sort of potato chips and Bev enjoys her crisps as much as I do my pizza.

That was five years ago and Bev has abstained from crisps each Lent since then. And she’s not even Catholic, just a very dear friend.

I said before that I wasn’t going to be preachy and I’m not. But now that I think of it, I have to admit that I do have an ulterior motive to writing this blog. I need your help.

March 9 is only a little more than two weeks away and I plan on having a pizza on “Fat Tuesday” prior to Ash Wednesday. I have put together an opinion poll on the right side of this blog to help me decide from where I should order that pizza.

There are 19 different local pizzerias in the poll and I promise to order from whichever one garners the most votes. You can vote as often as you like. Please note that I did not include Luisa’s Pizza, Nick-N-Willy’s, Papa Murphy’s, Ruffolo's Special Pizza and Renzo’s Pizzeria, only because they do not deliver to my residence.

So, as they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often. Until next time…from the booth.


Leplume said...

I find it impossible to vote on your pizza poll because you've included both Carl's and Luigi's and I can never make up mind between them. Easily, the best pizza in town followed closely by Infusino's and, lately, Kaisers. I have never been known to turn down good pizza! Haha!

I have long since given up giving stuff up for Lent. I was never any good at even though I had good intentions. Took me less than a week to fail each time, weak spirit that I am. Besides, I've also had a hard time seeing how me giving up chocolate or potato chips had anything to do with my faith. But that's just go for it, Paul! And I'll cheer you on, over here, eating all that pizza that will be available now since you're abstaining! :D

Now that I'm thinking about it...Carl's pizza does sound pretty darn good right about now.... just sayin...

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Mary Beth, were you able to vote? I made it so you could vote multiple times. Please let me know!

sue said...

mmm there are quite a few choices there - some of them sound better than others (Pizza Hut is pretty boring) so instead of Pizza what do you eat during Lent. I know Bev - she will be eating all the crisps she can before Ash Wednesday, and will probably have lots of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

sue said...

Luigi's Pizza Kitchen sounds like a good bet to me.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Vote Sue!!! Luigi's is very good.

sue said...

Paul I did vote for Luigi's that's why I put the comment it sounds a good bet to me. !!!!

Mary U said...

I think instead of ordering pizza to be delivered, take a quick trip down to Waukegan & get some pizza at the Silo. It's worth the trip.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

The Silo? Thanks for the suggestion, Mary, I just might give them a try. The Pizza House in Zion also had some very tasty pizza back in the day. I haven't had one of their pies in ages. Thanks again!

J. Kwiatkowski said...

I'm a long lapsed Catholic, I think most of my family is, but we still do fish on Fridays and give something up for Lent. Just as a combination of tradition and challenge.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

What type of things do you give up, Julie?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Paul. Casa Capri is a little pricey, but they got a nice greasy pie. I order mine with cheese, pepperoni and green olives, without hair. Fred and I watched Crazy Heart last night. She wanted to know if protagonist was a clone of me. I told her no, if that were the case, the title wouldn't be Crazy Heart, it would be Lazy Fart.

Kool Papa

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

I used to be a big fan of Casa Capri's pie, Papa. If it should win, I would order it with cheese, sausage and pepperoni. Can you imagine the pools of grease?

By the way, do you plan on drinking Miller Lite from Fred's shoe on Fat Tuesday?

Karen Rorek said...

I voted for Kaiser's . . . the lightest, crispiest crust I've had in a long time! It's my new favorite, though Luigi's comes in a close second.

Carl's is not high on my list; I worked there when I was in high school and had too much of it back in the day. Plus the last time I ate in the restaurant, my pizza came to the table cold. Kind of a turn off. But I will say the place was super clean and used quality ingredients.

You're an inspiration, Paul. Pizza is my favorite, too. I'm not sure how I would do if I tried to give it up. Maybe if I did the old "Sunday's don't count" thing that some of my friends have done in the past. That seems like cheating to me, though!!!

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Karen, I have been meaning to try Kaiser's. Maybe they will win the poll and I will give them a try on Fat Tuesday. Get your friends to stuff the ballot box.

I have had varying luck with Carl's. It seems that when you use a coupon, the quality of the pizza suffers, erasing your savings.

As far as being an inspiration… It wasn't my intention, but hey. I remember when we were young, we did the old "Sunday's don't count" thing as well. I think any type of penance is personal and done with what benefits the individual most in mind.