Clean Monday: Last Weigh-In Before Pascha!

Good morning, everyone! A happy and blessed “Clean Monday” to my Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic (aka “Orthodox Lite”) friends out there!

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And rather than repeat myself ad nauseum, I’ll just refer you to LAST year’s Clean Monday blog post and let you go on about your day.

Meanwhile, without further adieux, here’s the weigh-in:

180.2
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oh poo

Aw shucks … back in the ’80s! But hey — Lenten fasting is upon us! So obviously that’s a great opportunity to lose some weight … right?

…this is the fundamental basis of Lenten promises. Whatever we give up, we have to ensure that God is kept at the centre of our resolve, and that the primary purpose is to draw near to Him. I will decrease my indulgences or bad habits so that God can increase in glory. NOT: I will decrease my chocolate intake so that I can increase my confidence on the beach, popularity at school or likeness to the celebs.

Oh, OK — and well said! So on that note, whether your Lent starts today, or Wednesday, hope it’s spiritually profitable for you – and not “just another diet”!

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In: Clean Monday edition!

Well, good morning, everyone, and happy Monday! Time for another weigh-in … and as you may remember, last week I had a small GAIN. But as Homer Simpson once said, “hope springs internal,” so let’s step on the ol’ scale and see where it lands. Ready? Here goes:

206.8
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Hey, that’s great!

Nice! I think that actually takes me a little lower than I was two weeks ago, so I’m happy. I think the walking I’m doing almost every day is helping a lot – not only with weight loss but with my overall health. If you’ve got a few minutes, why not take a walk yourself, today? (But not till you finish reading my blog, of course!!)

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OK, so today is Clean Monday. In case you’re not familiar with it, that’s the first official day of Lent in the Eastern Orthodox/Eastern Christian world. As virtually every Eastern Orthodox (EO) will tell you, I, by virtue of being Eastern Catholic (EC), am NOT in any way, shape or form, “Orthodox.”

However, we ECs do our best to irritate both the EOs and the RCs (Roman Catholics) whenever possible. For example, we irritate the EOs by copying everything they do, like their liturgy, their prayers, their eating habits, etc. etc.

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And we irritate the RCs by insisting that we’re fully, totally, 100% as Catholic as they are, even though we don’t (officially*) do ANYTHING they like to do, like for example, Ash Wednesday. Now mind you, it’s not that we have anything against Ash Wednesday – it’s actually a lovely tradition, and it’s nice to see so many people who never ever EVER set foot in a church the rest of the year go in to get their annual reminder that they’re skating on thin ice.

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However, we have our own tradition on the first Wednesday of Lent (which we start two days earlier, nyah nyah nyah!) which involves a liturgy every Wednesday evening till Holy Week. There’s always a confused Westerner who stumbles in off the street looking for ashes, and we have to gently explain that we don’t have any, other than whatever’s out in the garden, which they’re certainly welcome to. (I’ve suggested we just keep a container of ashes by the door with a sign reading “Help yourself!” but that never seems to go over too well.)

But that’s okay, we all have our different traditions and practices and that’s what makes religion so much fun, right?

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One thing we ECs DO have in common with the RCs this year is that our Easter falls on … are you ready? … April Fool’s Day! That’s right, Easter is on April 1st, and as you can imagine, the memesters are having a field day with THAT!

And of course, Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day, so even though we ECs don’t join in with the ashy stuff, we can certainly commiserate about the fact that we’re BOTH supposed to abstain from CHOCOLATE on February 14 OMG why why why??? Although I’m sure St. Valentine himself isn’t too upset.

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Oh well, we’ll muddle through somehow.

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And after all, there’s more to Lent – Eastern OR Western – than just giving up stuff. As our priest pointed out yesterday, “The Great Fast isn’t about losing weight. It’s not Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. It’s about getting closer to God.”

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So whether you’re Eastern, Western, or even just an interested bystander – happy Lent to you!

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