What May I Drink During Lent?
The Typikon, the liturgical code that also regulates church fasts, permits even some wine on certain days. However, here, just like with food, one must be conscious of one’s own measure. To one person, two cups of wine, that is, two measure units that Typikon speaks about, will not do any harm. The other must give up alcohol altogether. One way or another, we all know our weaknesses, and we have to decide how to fight them during the Lent either independently or with the help of a spiritual advisor.
As for tea and coffee, the question is unclear. I like the fact that more and more people today lead healthy lifestyles and, in particular, make sure that they get the most natural and healthy foods on the table. During Lent, we deliberately weaken our bodies a little with abstinence in order to focus on our souls, on prayer and repentance. Is it worthwhile to poison yourself with chemical instant coffee during this difficult period or to strain your heart with caffeine (by the way, tea contains even more caffeine than coffee)?
If you love coffee and drink it every day, make an experiment. Give up this drink completely for two days. If it is very difficult for you, it means that you are not just a “coffee lover” but an addict. Any addiction is a sin to be wrestled with.
May I Go to a Café During Lent?
Lent is the time when we give up something that feels particularly good. For example, one likes to eat brown bread with sunflower oil sprinkled with salt. He likes it so much that sometimes he runs into the kitchen in the middle of the night to indulge himself. Well, if you’re so dependent on something, try giving it up.
You can be a fast-breaker with a bucket of chips and, vice versa, you can be fasting even if you eat a tiny piece of fish. It all depends on what’s going on inside us.
As for the café, I don’t see anything wrong with eating there occasionally during Lent. Many venues offer a Lenten menu, and that’s very good. Besides, the pace of modern life is such that some city dwellers simply have no choice. Either you eat in a café or you stay hungry all day.
The other thing is Lenten delights. If you go to a café to eat a lot of Lenten delicacies, sometimes even more fanciful than non-Lenten food, it’s worth wondering if it’s fasting, after all?
Is It Permissible to Kiss and Practice Marital Intimacy During Lent?
Traditionally, it is only allowed to engage in intimacy with your spouse on the days when weddings are allowed. It is not possible to get married on fasting days.
We should remember, however, that the Church is not a set of prohibitions and regulations. She is a living organism, our mother. As a Mother, the Church may complain about not following her advice, but She treats each of her children with understanding and love. If the physical condition of one or both spouses does not allow complete abstinence from intimacy in the long forty days of Lent, the Church makes concessions.
If your spouse is an unbeliever, it will be all the more difficult for you to explain to him why Lent is a time of abstinence. Disputes on this issue can not only undermine your marriage, but also push your husband or wife to a serious sin – adultery, fornication. If they commit such a sin, both parties are to blame.
In general, all things must be done by consent, as the Apostle Paul says.
As far as kissing is concerned, if the spouses have a sense of balance, kissing one another is totally okay. It is a display of affection, especially when it comes to the so-called “holy kiss” when Christians say hello or goodbye to each other.
May I Exercise During Lent?
There are professional athletes in my parish. They are pious people who do many good deeds. Sport is their profession, and of course, they have no opportunity to give it up during Lent. In addition, athletes have a certain diet schedule associated with high physical activity, which is why they cannot afford to have rigid food restrictions.
If you’re not an athlete, but just exercise to keep fit, you’re welcome to continue! The main thing is not to make a cult out of your body.
May I Smoke During Lent?
It all depends on how you put it. Lent is a time of repentance and prayer. Are you allowed to smoke when you pray? Almost everyone will say no. Let’s put the question in a different way. Is it permissible to pray when you smoke? Of course, yes, because you can pray at all times.
Smoking is an addiction, and any addiction is a sin. The issue is what you as a believer focus on. Maybe you should try to test yourself. For example, to quit smoking for the forty days of Lent. Or maybe you should smoke two times less than a pack a day. That way, it would be clear whether you have a cigarette or a cigarette has you.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds
Based on https://foma.ru/chto-mozhno-v-post.html