Lenten faster: Giving up radio, junk food
With only three weeks until Easter, the Lenten fasting season is quickly coming to a close.
Since Ash Wednesday, the first day of the 40-day season, the Advocate has featured Christians in the Crossroads observing the holy season of spiritual renewal and sacrifice.
Some are hedging their diets while others are committing to prayer and other forms of sacrifice, aiming to reflect on the passion of Christ in the weeks before Easter.
Mary Ann Wenske has committed to all three. Here's a look at the season's fourth Lenten faster.
• Name: Mary Ann Wenske
• City: Moulton
• Age: 51
• Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
• Religion: Catholic
• Church: St. Joseph, Moulton
• Fast: Listening to the radio, junk food, perfume, praying the rosary
Tell me about your Lenten fast.
I'm giving up listening to the radio. . But I'm also giving up some other things, too. One of the things I've given up are comfort foods, like chips. I've also given up wearing perfume. I usually only wear it on Sundays because it's the Lord's day, and it's a special day, but I'm not wearing it during Lent. I'm also focusing on the spiritual side. I pray the rosary every evening with the children, and we do the family rosary together once a week. We also go and pray the stations of the cross.
Why did you give up listening to the radio?
I've been doing it the last four or five years. It was really hard the first week because I spend so much time in the car and you know how the flesh wants to be satisfied. . I really wanted to turn it on. The car is a good place to pray. You can really get into a meditative state sometimes.
Do you spend much time in the car?
About seven hours during the week - an hour each day. It's a lot of country driving. I have a few programs that I enjoy listening to. But it's good silence. I'm planning my day more, and I'm talking to my family more when they're in the car.
Why is this an important time of year?
It reminds you of Jesus' passion and the sacrifice he made for us. It's also a time of cleaning house. It's a good time of year to shed your worst habits. My kids are giving up things like not complaining and junk food. It's hard though. When the fast is over, you can go a few weeks without those things anymore, and then, you usually start adding those things back to your life.
But you realize during Lent that you can go without certain things, and you don't need them in your life. You hope that it helps lead you to a change in your habits for the rest of the year.
Do you feel closer to God during this time?
Yes, I do feel closer. Because I'm focused on his passion rather than what I'm asking for - my petitions.