And so it begins...So many of my Roman Catholic and Christian family and friends are often surprised that today, forty days before Christmas, we begin a fast. They are normally surprised that there are meant to be Christian fasts during times other than Lent. My response to them is usually, “Yes. What is a feast without first a fast?” As strange as it may seem, I look forward to these fasts. It is an opportunity and excuse to step back and examine my life and the ways I have ventured into sin. I was raised as a Roman Catholic and I was taught that Advent was a time of alms and being good (i.e., be good and Santa will bring you gifts), therefore there is a celebration of bounty and giving. However, as an adult I do not believe there can be a true appreciation of the bounty without first purgation and purification. Truly, these teachings were there in my Roman Catholic upbringing, but in a different way.
So, what does this fast involve. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are strict fast in which we have 1 ½ meals. We cut out all meat, dairy and eggs, including meat and dairy substitutes. Sundays are always feast days, so we can eat meat.
On this week's fasting dinner menu:
Sunday – Saute Garlic, Spinach, Tomato and Meatballs
Monday – Greek Lentil Soup and Homemade Bread
Tuesday – Elbow Pasta with Marinara and Asparagus
Wednesday – Curry Chickpeas with Mixed Veggies
Thursday – Veggie Pizza (Okay this one has cheese, but it's the night of my Mom's group and I don't have time to cook. The next time this occurs, I will work to prepare something ahead of time.)
Friday – Pan Fried Tilapia and Herb Potatoes
Saturday – (Happy Birthday Andrew) Orzo Soup
This is our especially designed by Anne, Jesse Tree
My favorite ornament for the tree is this censer, complete with bells on the chains. :-)