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.