March 9th, 2011
09:47 AM ET

Explain it to me: What's Lent? And what are you giving up?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the season when many Christians give something up in the weeks before Easter. It's a nod to Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the desert before beginning his ministry. 

Some folks are giving up Facebook. Others are cutting down on their carbon emissions.

Are you giving something up? If so, let us know - and explain your choice.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Easter • Holidays • Lent

soundoff (1,213 Responses)
  1. Stanton Raines

    It is unknown how many adults and children suffer with other serious, significant eating disorders, including one category of eating disorders called eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). EDNOS includes eating disorders that do not meet the criteria for anorexia or bulimia nervosa. Binge-eating disorder is a type of eating disorder called EDNOS. ,...*

    Find out about our very own website too http://healthwellnessbook.comde Stanton Raines

    June 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  2. Alexander

    I am fasting in two ways:
    -One, the way it's done in scripture, I am not eating for periods of time. M, W, & F I am eating a meal at Sunrise to remember the resurrection and not eating until the following day. Tu, Th, & Sa I am eating at Sunrise (resurrection) and at 3pm to remember the end of Christ's suffering marked by His death at 3pm on Good Friday. Fasting is a discipline of prayer which allows time to feast in a different way. As I sit in the sun light I gain Vitamin D and I remember St. John's description of Christ as breathing a living light onto everything (John 1:4). Then I focus on my hunger and consume words in red from the gospels. I also pray for those who have no food to eat. Something I'm working on is trying to get my college meal trade plan to allow money that I don't use to be spent in charity. The main thing to keep in mind, however, is fasting is best done in community because together, as you fast, you fast as Christ's holy body. You share in Christ's suffering as St. Paul would put it.
    note: Sundays are considered the Lord's day even in scripture (Rev. 1:10). They are a remembrance even in Lent, that Jesus is risen from the dead, causing us to plunge into the mystery of a resurrection. A celebration doesn't entail fasting so many Christians who observe Lent don't fast on Sundays.

    – Two, three of us are giving up animal products and are going Vegan for Lent. So whatever we eat, except on Sundays, is Vegan. This is symbolic for renewed creation, not necessarily a part of renewed creation but symbolic for it. In the biblical narrative, the fall, contrary to popular belief, not all at once in the bite of a fruit. The fall continues from that moment in scripture to the destruction of the Tower of Babble, where people are finally scattered and cannot understand one another. After this, God's plan of salvation kicks in with Abram. The further God's people get away from God, the more we see the utility of animals for humans. From clothes (Gen. 3:21) to sacrifice (Gen. 8:20) to food (Gen. 9:2-3). So with God's movement through scripture to a renewed creation (Gal. 6:15, Rev 21:5), a symbol for that renewal would be the lack of animal's utility.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  3. T Hill

    I'm giving up CNN ... for Good!

    February 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  4. Tammy

    I am giving up treating my body like a disposable resource. This means to me giving myself a rest from trampolining as required to allow my back to heal, and also making myself eat enough as I recover from the early stages of an eating disorder. This is because I am only 17 (nearly 18) and the way I am treating my body at the moment it is not going to last much longer before it gives up on me, and I have to stop trampolining, which ideally I want to still be doing in my 30s and my 40s. This will mean a lot of self-control and self-denial as I trampoline as often as I do, which makes it a good thing to do, and it will mean that people are no longer forced to worry about me all the time

    February 22, 2012 at 5:42 am |
  5. Gloria

    I have decide to give up coffee and drink only water. I will also be writing a letter each day to 40 people who have touched my heart. So each day I will pray for that certain person,

    February 22, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  6. wow

    Can you afford to be wrong, every knee shall bow....

    April 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.