Monday, March 2, 2009

Bento 184

This morning, I skewered some button mushrooms and zucchini, laid them on a Butterhead lettuce. There is a homemade Ciabatta sandwich loaded with Butterhead lettuce, tuna mayo and alfalfa onion sprouts. There were two strawberries for fruits.

#2' first term exams begins today. When I came downstairs, I noticed a big jug of what seemed like left over juice on the table. She's been into making smoothies lately. When I saw her, I asked if she had a smoothie this morning (6a.m.). She responded positively, I asked if it were a little too early to have such a COLD breakfast! A quick rebuttal came back "I need the Energy mum!" I just hope her stomach can take all that mixture of fruits so early in the morning.

Now, I have frozen bananas, watermelon, mangoes, strawberries in my freezer for 'instant smoothies'. She makes her own smoothies with some juice and some milk and operates my blender herself. I'd probably have been given a cup of smoothie too if it weren't that early in the morning.

The rest of this post is a record I'd like to keep for myself. It is a personal expressed opinion. Please do not continue reading if you are sensitive to Religious beliefs or the like of it. Thank you.

My eldest daughter was recapping her Saturday 'exercise' with a group of friends. They met at Kiara Park at Taman Tun and after completing their regular trail, they were off to IKEA for their RM1 breakfast!

IKEA offers 'mee siam' and free flow of coffee for RM1 before 9a.m. Obviously there were lots of other tantalizing dishes like fried chicken, pasta, kueh, etc. While #1 was ordering her RM1 breakfast, her eyes feasted on the deliciously looking fried chicken and was about to pick it up when she realized that it was LENT. Ouch! Some of her friends also suddenly came to realization that it was Lent and refrained from the tempting meat array all laid in front of them. Some had no qualms about adding meat to their base meals.

It's interesting to note that different people have different perspective towards Lent. Actually there is no hard and fast rule and there is really no requirement to abstain from meat during Lent except for when it's called for. It's up to the individual, the type of sacrifice he or she is ready to do.

#1's friends had an interesting conversation about their family practices. Some will skip one meal during the beginning of Lent with no abstinence until the last week. Some will abstain from all forms of meat, seafood and even eggs. Some don't abstain at all, and continue with their regular eating habits. Some, like in my family abstain from meats but continue to eat seafood and eggs.

My personal opinion of all these practices is not about showing how "HOLY" we are, it is about the period of Lent where we keep reminding ourselves, albeit we often forget that we need to make a conscious effort to change from within.

Even as an adult, most of the time, I find it a challenge to stay conscious of my faults. Similarly, to many people's opinion of Valentines day - "it is everyday that you should show your loved ones that you love them and not only on Valentines day" - this is an ideal. NOT a reality, that's why we have Valentines day!

Just the same, the 40 days of Lent reminds us to be conscious of our actions and words in hope that after the 40 days some good habit has formed and some bad habits dropped.

It doesn't make one more holy than the other by any form of public declaration of fast or abstinence but it does make a difference for the individual to stand up and be counted to be a believer because of the choice made by that individual to live in the faith.


Yvo said...

That's interesting -- I hadn't realized some people give up meat completely during Lent. When I was growing up, I think some adults (they didn't recommend/allow children to do it) gave up meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, then only on Fridays (which is, I believe, why McDonald's started offering Filet-o-fish sandwiches! Interesting, or to me, anwyay!). As children in my Catholic school, we were asked to give up something that meant a lot to us - candy, or sweets, or chips, that sort of thing, and it was explained that for 40 days and 40 nights, Jesus wandered the desert with no food or water, surely we could give up something to show a kinship, solidarity, to his suffering. (I guess that's why it was often a food item we were asked to give up?) Anyway, thank you for sharing, I always find it interesting and enlightening to read about other people's perspectives, especially from around the world or from other cultures :)

Bento Pet said...

Yvo: Thanks for your interesting comment. Our local Archdiocese recommends abstinence from meats on Fridays all year round, but it is not obligatory.

Our Lent sacrifices as a family has evolved from partial abstinences to completely off meats and seafood and we found that quite impossible to achieve.

We're back to partial abstinence where seafood and eggs are allowed for the more practical sense of cooking.

Where Sunday school encourages the children to also make small personal sacrifices, the children are also encouraged to put aside some money from their pocket money into a can which will be given to the church, and in turn given to the Archdiocese for distribution to the marginalized.

I appreciate these type of little gestures which Sunday school teach the children and believe that it also forms their character as they grow.

I think the Catholic church doesn't differ very much where ever we are in the world.

jane said...

hi bento pet!!! remember me?
i'm doing that too :) still take eggs n seafood. :)blessed lent to u n ur family! i've changed my blog add btw.. no longer chebehexpression!

Bento Pet said...

jane: Hey! I've missed you! Thanks for the link, now I can visit you again. Great to hear that Lent means something to you too!! God bless! Will be visiting your blog often.


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