Have we lost the true meaning of Lent?
Via Irish Times letters:
When I was a small child, the season of Lent was a time of strict fasting, sacrifice and reflection. While not being subjected to rigorous adherence of the more harsh deprivations associated with Lent, we children were encouraged to decide on the making of at least one sacrifice for the six weeks or so, as much as a means of instilling a habit of discipline as a religious endeavour.
My sister and I generally settled on giving up sweets as our nod to the more straitened Lenten hardships endured by our elders. The eschewing of sweets for six long weeks (excluding the break for St Patrick’s Day) was a trying time for two young girls.
One year, we devised a plan. What if we still bought our usual ration of sweets each week with our pocket money? To our minds, it wouldn’t be cheating. It was merely an efficient way of saving money. After all, the price of sweets might have gone up by the end of Lent.
Whenever we were afflicted by a moment of weakness and the thought of breaking our fast, we stole a peep into the sweet box and were usually sated at the sight of the growing pile, not to mention the aroma.
Our precious stash survived that Lent, and so successful was our endeavour that by Lent the next year, we had sold our idea to other kids on the road – with varying degrees of success!
Anne O’Neill, Dublin 6w