Lent is meant to be a reminder to us of Jesus’ 40 day fast in the wilderness, as written in Matthew 4. Lent is also a time to prepare for the death and resurrection of Jesus.
It just seems to me, as I have gotten older, the rules (or are they “guidelines”?) have softened. Have you felt that way too?
Growing up, we always had a dilemma every year during Lent…called St. Patrick’s Day. There was the story of the “mystery bishop” used to give everyone in my parish “a pass” to toss a few back on St. Patrick’s Day. We always had a “serious” moral issue when St. Patrick’s would fall on a Friday in Lent…what about corned beef?
My earliest recollections were to fast on Fridays in Lent. Then it became, “no meat on Fridays in Lent.” Even that “rule” has become a “guideline” or “suggestion.” And stations of the cross?