So, about that Lent…

I try never to talk about Lent, pro or con.  I think Lent is an example of Christian liberty at the most basic (St Paul: why value one day over another?).  The reactions to Lent, for and against, however, are most interesting.

Practically, I am not celebrating Lent this year in the sense of “giving something up.”  Especially food.  I have several dietary issues, along with other logistic problems that make “fasting from meat/eggs/cheese/milk” problematic.

However, my own reading takes a turn during Lent.  I read a lot more of the medievals than I normally do (slugging through the latter half of Aquinas’s ST at the moment).

But enough about me.  I want to call attention to all of the hipster Reformed/YRR attacking Lent, and attacking Lent by what is basically “food porn.”  Uploading pictures of the latest kegger or six pack and big cigars.

If you want to attack medieval interpretations of Lent that “bind consciences,” go at it.  Have fun.  I fear that many have thrown the baby out with the proverbial bath water.   Spiritual disciplines in the sense of “disciplining the body” is very good and should not be abandoned.  Yet we don’t see this among the Hipster/Bro Reformed.

But someone would say, pointing to Colossians 2 and Galatians 4, that we are no longer under the seasons and stoichea.  True, which is why I don’t believe tying Lenten discipline to a cosmic calendar is necessary.  But…we still live in God’s world and he made seasons and rhythms.

If you haven’t figured it out, yet, I am alluding to the Facebook group Reformed Pub.

A List.

*Fr Seraphim Rose read through Augustine’s Confessions during each Great Lent.  Not a bad idea.

*As noted earlier, I am reading as much of Thomas’s Summa as I can.

*Reread the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of English People.

*Memorize some medieval prayers written in Latin.  Nothing magical about Latin, but this could be a mental training exercise.

Some Good Lenten Resources and Ideas:

Chant Blog.

St Bede Blog.

A Clerk of Oxford.

Audio of BCP Daily Prayer.

St Bede Breviary.

About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
This entry was posted in Autobiography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to So, about that Lent…

  1. Angela Wittman says:

    I personally do not practice lent, but the church I belong to observes it and I respect their right to do so. The example you give of those opposed to practicing lent uploading photos of cigars and six packs as a means of taunting others or flaunting their liberty is childish. It would do them well to give up childish things for lent. 🙂


  2. Evan Kramer says:

    As one who thinks that the church should not celebrate any holiday but the Lord’s day, I sort of laugh when most Reformed hate on Lent. Most Reformed who hate on Lent have no problem with Christmas or Easter and celebrating them in the Church. I just find it hypocritical; at least be consistent.


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