Lent fasting ideas: what CAFOD staff are giving up for Lent
7 March 2017
During the forty Lenten days Catholics around the world will reflect on the true meaning of Lent by giving up luxuries or making positive commitments. Here are some of the challenges CAFOD staff have set themselves this Lenten period.
What we’re giving up when fasting
CAFOD staff are cutting out a variety of food items this Lent. Nana is abstaining from biscuits and Sarah is trying to stop snacking between meals.
Rachel is fasting from meat, dairy and all other animal products – she’s going vegan for Lent. Rachel was inspired by another member of staff, Mark, who became a vegan during Lent 2015 and hasn’t looked back since! Rachel says, “to be honest, it’s going cause uproar in my family as I’ll be a nuisance to cater for, when in reality the worst thing for me will be not having milk in my tea (my mother’s a Yorkshire lass and I will struggle!)"
In her spare time, Mariacristina is a Neapolitan food blogger who loves creating carbohydrate-based traditional recipes. Yet this Lent she’s fasting by giving up carbs for a week. She says, “we all associate Italian food with pasta and pizza. It is also true that even more people are having to give up some carbs because of their intolerance to gluten. So this Lent I thought I would give up something I absolutely adore and share recipes created for those who are unable to eat carbs.”
Different types of fasting
Fasting doesn’t have to mean abstaining from food. Elly is giving up complaining! She was inspired by Laudato Si’ which states we should accept “each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full.”
By giving up complaining about small things like the weather or getting up early Elly will be trying to fully appreciate every day. Last Lent Elly swam the length of the English channel but she says, “I think it’s going to be my hardest Lent challenge yet so any time I slip up I’ll be making a donation to CAFOD’s Lent appeal!”
Healthy Lent resolutions
In addition to cutting out unhealthy foods, CAFOD staff are taking on healthy challenges this year. CAFOD Director Chris Bain is giving up taking the lift at work. His desk is on the 4th floor – that’s a lot of extra steps each day. Every time he takes the lift he will be adding £1 to his CAFOD collection box.
Caring for our common home during Lent
Step into the Gap volunteer Bridgid has been inspired by her recent visit to CAFOD projects in Ethiopia to pay close attention to her relationship with the environment this Lent. She’s pledged to use her car less, recycle more and waste less water. Watch her explain the reasons behind her Lent challenge in this video.
A lean Lent
Kemi is a bit of a bargain hunter. Although this helps her to live frugally from day to day she feels like her impulse buying of supermarket deals and charity shop trips is a habit she needs to break. Her Lent challenge is to only spend £1 a day on ‘treats’.
Kemi says, “I want to be able to curb this ‘bargain’ impulse spending, because even though we are talking ‘small’ amounts of money, these little things, accumulated over a long period of time, can make a BIG difference – just like CAFOD’s ‘Big Fish’ Lent Appeal.”