Friday, February 15, 2013

Why I'm Not Giving up Facebook for Lent

This past week, with the start of the Lenten season I've seen lots of posts on what folks are giving up for Lent. Often, social media tops the list of "sacrifices" made for the 40-Days Lenten journey.   In years past, I too have attempted to "give up" Facebook, Blogging, and Pinterest.  Some days...and weeks...were more successful than others.  But this year, I have chosen not to ban myself from "the book", as my husband affectionately refers to it, or any other social media websites.


Let me be clear, though, I in no way think it is wrong, fruitless, or a misplaced effort to give up or limit oneself from social media.  In fact, I think it can be very beneficial, especially if one finds themselves "addicted" to checking in with Facebook, email, Blogger, etc. and that this time spent on the computer keeps them away from caring for their loved ones and in relationship with Christ.

The practice by Catholics, and many other Christians, of praying, fasting and almsgiving during Lent is for the purpose of acknowledging that we have turned our hearts and minds away from God.  By fasting or "giving up" some small indulgence or habit that keeps our focus from being on Christ we begin to repair our relationship with God.  Thus, denying ourselves Diet Coke...chocolate...Facebook, etc...we acknowledge that we are not being our best version of self...the best version that we are in Christ.



So,when those 40-Days of Lent are over...when we are celebrating Christ's triumphant conquer over death (Easter), that is precisely the wrong time to go back to old habits!  If our old ways are "sinful"  = "death" then  we don't want to return to those practices.  We don't want to put the cloak of sinfulness back on when we've   just gone through this season of purification in order to renew our Baptismal vows. Rather, we want to live on in the light of Christ drawing ever closer to him through prayer and a life dedicated to doing His will.

So, if social media is a problem for you...if  you find it interfering with your familial relationships and your relationship with our Heavenly Father than by all means give it up...or at least set up some boundaries to adhere to.  But, if like me, you find that you have been able to designate specific times for these activities and/or that you can use them to grow deeper in your spiritual relationship with God and for sharing your love of Christ, then do not feel guilty for not giving up "the book"! ;)

Blessings to you,

     

6 comments:

  1. What a wonderful thought, Valerie! I too try to "do" something, rather than give something up...but never thought of it in that way...Thanks, friend! : )

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  2. Valerie,

    I had to smile. I am one of those people giving up FB and blogging for Lent! I love writing and blogging so much that I want to give up something I really enjoy as my sacrifice. I am prepared for it to hurt! Yes, I will return to my blog at Easter, but I don't look at it as returning to sinful habits. I see my Lenten fast as a retreat, time to refresh and pray and think about the future of my blogs and the apostolates I write for, and I will use my resulting free time to do things for other people. But that situation will change once Lent is over, as I feel God wants me to write and so I will return to my blogs at Easter. Spending some time sitting still and listening might help ensure I am doing God's will as far as my writing goes.

    It was good to read your thoughts on this subject which I'd never considered before. I guess I only see things from my own point of view, so it is good to share thoughts!

    God bless!

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  3. I feel like giving up the book would give up my connection to my peers. It is my friends that bring me closer to Christ. I read about the trials and joys and I share in those prayers. Just like seeing a friend from grade school that just posted about her mom. She asked for prayers as her mother is in her last moments. I am so glad that I was connected and could pray for both the repose of her soul and that of my friend.
    Happy Lent my friend!

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  4. I liked reading about your plans to NOT give up computer time, etc! For some reason, I felt the same way this year!

    I found you at Elizabeth's (Blue Mockingbird), and I am excited to read more.

    Enjoy your weekend!

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  5. Good thoughts! I do accomplish so much more when I (sighhhh) turn the computer off :) -Tammy

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  6. Great post Valerie! I too have tried giving up Facebook for Lent. It lasts only a short time and has never made a difference in my spiritual life....I do get more work done though ;)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

Valerie