A Lot Like Lent

Without Easter, our faith means nothing

Growing up Catholic, Lent meant the forty days that I would spend avoiding pop (Pittsburghese for “soda,” if you didn’t know) and eating fried fish on Fridays, or sometimes cheese pizza. Growing up in Catholic school, Lent meant going to mass on a Wednesday and getting ashes put on my forehead, and doing the Stations…

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Fasting by Failing

Three lessons from an unexpected change

In West Virginia, it’s possible to total your car not only by hitting a deer, but by stopping for a deer and having someone else hit it into you… So after hitching a ride with the tow truck, I saw through the window of the body shop, a small Volkswagen for sale in my mechanic’s…

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Thinking Fast

Every January, my church does a congregation-wide week of fasting. It looks different for everyone. Some do a complete fast from food for three days, while some omit a meal every day for the week. Others cut out sugar or sodas, or any food they feel an addiction to. And then there are those who…

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Imposed Fasting

Several years ago, I had a minor surgical procedure. It was scheduled in the afternoon, which was the first time I’ve not had a surgery in the morning. For this surgery I was given the standard instructions: nothing by mouth (NPO) after midnight. I reacted immediately: this is ridiculous. When I’ve had surgeries in the…

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