I've written about Lent before. In fact, my very first post in this blog began with a list of things I've given up in the past. This year, however, will be the first year I give up nothing.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the day of fasting, of going to church, of being marked with an ashy cross on your forehead (see photo above) and eating fish on Fridays. In the last few years I've done less and less in celebration of the season. Five years ago I fasted, went to church and and swore off chocolate. I also visited the nurse practitioner for my first gynecological exam and bought birth control. She happened to glance at the calendar and noted the date. Then she asked if I'd eaten because the hormones in the patch can wreak havoc on the stomach. She was surprised when I told her I was fasting for Lent. Good little Catholic girl in the city college health center getting birth control on Ash Wednesday because she's no longer a virgin. What has the world come to?
This year I visited Planned Parenthood for more birth control. Notice a pattern? (FYI: it's free condom week.) However, this year I did not fast, did not go to church, did not give up anything, and will probably eat meat on Fridays. I've written a lot about religion this year, mostly bashing the extremists, and if one were to follow my posts one would see my relatively steep religious decline. I've gone from firmly believing in God but disturbed by Christians to not really knowing if I believe in God and far from calling myself a Christian. It will be interesting to see where I'll be next year at this time.