Lent: The Meaning Behind the Fast

Lent: The Meaning Behind the Fast

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Lent is the season Catholics celebrate before Easter. Catholics give up something for 40 days and 40 nights right before Easter Sunday. This is a season where Catholics fast from something they are dependent on, such as soda, sweets, a bad habit, etc.

The meaning of this is so we can recognize what Jesus did for us, and do something for Him in return. Since Jesus suffered on the cross for us, we suffer for 40 days and 40 nights by giving up something extremely important or difficult.

You do not have to be Catholic to participate!

Lent is a tradition specific to Catholicism; the only other denominations that really celebrate it is Lutheran and Orthodox. However, many other non-denominational Christian churches have adapted the tradition of fasting around the same time Catholics celebrate lent. Many of these other churches don’t recognize their fasting as “lent” but it is the same idea.

In fact, you don’t have to be Christian to give up something for Lent.

In many instances in the Bible, such as in Luke, Matthew, Daniel, Samuel, and many others, people put ashes on their foreheads when they mourned, so Catholics receive ashes in the sign of a cross on our head to mourn Jesus’s death and suffering on the cross, and our own sins which caused Jesus that suffering.

Daniel 9:3

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”

In the Bible, Jesus encouraged us to fast. Catholics do a similar fast where every Friday of lent; we do not eat meat because Friday was the day of the week that Jesus was crucified. Though we do not eat meat on every Friday of lent, we can eat fish because fish are a symbol of God.

For many people, this may seem unnecessary, Jesus loves us no matter what. But if the least I can do for Jesus, who gave me life and died on the cross for me, is giving up something for 40 days, I'm going to do it.

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Since When Did Having Your Life Figured Out Become An Expectation?

There's no timeline for life, and there shouldn't be.

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Let's just cut to the chase. There shouldn't be an expected timeline of life that us, as humans, should be expected to follow. There isn't a certain age that we should be married by, or a time slot that we have to graduate in. It's just unrealistic because, well, life happens. And the majority of the time, we can't control it.

So then why does society pressure us into this schedule that seems to be looming over our heads? There's no consequence to not having children by 27, there's nothing wrong with having a steady significant other and not being engaged by 24. And really, nothing horrible is going to happen if your timeline doesn't match up with your best friend's.

A whole lot of things in life are out of our control. We don't know when we're going to meet "the one", or even if we already have. We don't know what job we will have after graduation, or if it will be a job we stay in for years to come. And guess what: it's okay. Because we have time.

One of the best lessons I have learned in my life is that we cannot control everything in our lives. We can't predict the future. Yes, you can feel as though you have your whole life planned out, but in the blink of an eye, everything can change. So moral of the story, don't stress about things that you can't control. Because all the time you spend stressing about them, is time that you could have spent enjoying the moment that you are in.

There's not a fairy that is going to come down and curse you for not having a job by 23, or forbid you from finding love because you haven't found it by 25. It's an unrealistic expectation. And guess what: life happens on its own, and we can't control all of it. Sometimes it may suck, and it can be entirely unexpected, but it's life. So put an anchor in the present, and have faith that you will figure it out.

Because you will.

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