Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ash Wednesday and Self-Mortification



Today is Ash Wednesday and based on Catholic faith tradition this is the beginning of the season of Lent, one of the most important seasons in the Catholic Church calendar. Lent is the season where we commemorate the sacrifices and death of Jesus Christ.

According to Vatican Council II book, fasting is not really meant to avoid eating meat, but it can be in the form of any self-sacrifices, giving up some on luxuries and life's comfort. It is a way of expressing sorrow and self-mortification like what Jesus Christ did before to save us from eternal damnation.

I was raised in a very strict Catholic environment. I grew up accompanying my father doing his Lay Ministerial job in our Parish, my grandmother was the most strict in the family when it comes to traditional Catholic practices. Back in the province, we had this practice of not eating meal on Good Friday, no talking and no taking a bath. I still practice these traditions in reverence to my faith now that I am living alone in the city. 

Posters in my bed room

Since 2008, I offered some self-mortification ( I learned this practice from the great Pope, John Paul II) during Holy Week by avoiding some forms of luxury: no eating of white meat (I rarely eat red meat during Lent), no eating of luxury foods that the poorest of the poor cannot afford, no cellphone especially during Holy Thursday and Good Friday, no indulging on the things I love like reading books, surfing the internet and writing. 

This year, I plan to do another self-mortification, still thinking what act of sacrifice/mortification to do but for sure the "no cellphone" practice on Holy Thursday and Good Friday is still on top of my list. In the observation of the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II, I am thinking of following some of his practices on self-mortification like sleeping on the bare floor at night, wearing shabby clothes and no evening meal....I will just try..hehe!

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