Come February 16, a vast majority of the Syrian Christians in Kerala will be on their way to observe the holy lent for 50 long days before Easter like every year… Unlike the global 40 days, we do not take off the Sundays.
For me, personally, it has always a question of what to take off or take in, as vegetarianism which is usually the norm during the period,does not count.
If vegetarianism was the case indeed, then I will be observing lent all year round as the basic food at this hostel and around in this state is vegetarian. I think, this practice would have begun as a dietary regulation so that Christians will take off meat. Similar is the case with Keralites who take off non vegetarian food during the month of July-August, and eat foods that rejuvinate the body; a practice that originated during agrarian times to give the body a refresher.
Under the circumstance, I try other ways and means that need a little more than a few days of attention and a few that have been making the rounds of temptations …and that will carry over for 50 days. A set of practices, weekly, works for me, brilliantly.
50 days is a long time to follow a rule, but not that long either. Boredom sets in easily because once I decide to take off or take in something I take off and in and follow it to the T, there is absolutely no looking back.
So what is lent if there is no hint of the slightest temptation. It is when temptation peeps in that the lent becomes adventurous.
A lent routine begins again today. 50 days.