Lent is here.

It began yesterday with Ash Wednesday and after a the day of fasting and abstinence, it was nice to “break fast” together with Bishop & the VYAs  with soup (mushroom/pumpkin) & bread after Mass…and a bit of Taize practice afterwards as well! 😉

And so began these 40 grace-filled days

What are you giving up (meat, coffee, TV, etc) or, taking up (go to daily mass, daily rosary, etc) for Lent?

To be honest, I never actually really did much for Lent years ago (beyond the “standard prescription” of attending Stations of the Cross, abstaining from meat on Fridays etc etc) but 3 years ago I decided I’d start taking Lent more seriously, as should be the case if I may add.

So I decided to give up meatNOT just on Fridays but for ALL 40 days! The first 2 weeks I think was bearable then but as the 3rd week started I was having cravings. Then, just a few more days till I reached the 40th day, I failed to temptation… 😦

I NEVER felt SO bad about eating a piece of chicken before…It felt SO bad, I actually included it in my confession! :O

And so, I resolved I’d give up meat again the following year and was determined to go all the way this time. AND I DID! The “suffering” of my 40 (meatless) days helped me reflect more on how much MORE Christ suffered – to the point of death! What is giving up meat in comparison to Christ dying on the cross for our sins?!

Similarly, when Easter came & I had my first minuscule piece of pork in my kolo mee after 40 days, it truly felt like a celebration! If just that was able to stir such feelings within me, what even more reason is there to CELEBRATE & REJOICE on Easter morn but that Christ rose from the dead and in effect, gave us everlasting life?!

Last year, I gave up meat again but this time I decided to give up something else as well – social networks. Or more specifically, Facebook and Twitter. Verdict: Similar with the first Lent when I gave up meat. For the first few weeks I was SO tempted to just “sign in & see what’s happening”, but knowing how disappointed I was with myself when I succumbed to that delicious hotel-cooked piece of chicken the first year, I was determined NOT to falter.

And I survived! 🙂

40 whole days without social netwroks. It IS possible, inspite of the myth that one would “die” if they didn’t log in for a day. I mean, HELLO, social networks only came about in the last decade! 😀 And you know what? Because all social networks are somehow connected, I also gave up Foursquare too.

Yeah…I lost a number of Mayorships, but I didn’t care. Nothing trumped the fact I successfully said NO to social networks – on the first try too! 😀

So THIS year, I decided I would still give up meat & social networks but I also wanted to take up something too…I just wasn’t sure what. I was mulling over 2 possibilities:

1) To go to daily mass EVERYDAY for the whole of Lent

2) To go to ALL the Stations of the Cross during Lent (I never really kept track before but I think over the years, I have missed a few…)

And then I found this:

It’s a campaign called “40acts” and what it does is that it will encourage us to do Lent generously…please have a look and if you would like to participate, just sign up on the website: http://www.40acts.org.uk/

By signing up, you’ll receive 40acts emails from 22/2 (yesterday) until 5/4 -these are reflections from guest contributors like Nicky Gumbel, Rob Parsons,etc and ideas and inspirations to keep your challenge going, and a featured act for you to try that day. And don’t worry that you just read about this now, you can still do those “acts” that you “missed”! (Pls just see the website for more details.)

Lent is all about Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving…and this website seemed to give “practical” daily tips & suggested “acts” to do all that! So, I signed up.

Therefore, I shall be updating this blog more frequently (hopefully) during this Lenten Season to reflect on all the “acts”. So, until then, I hope you too will join me (and hundreds of others all over the world) on this 40acts journey! 🙂

40 days, 40 reflections, 40 simple acts…