Busted Halo

Our writers invite you along on their journeys through Lent. Follow the play-by-play of their personal spiritual practices and share your own.

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March 18th, 2014

LOUIS — DAY 14: At the Movies

Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent


Not the movie theater I went to, I promise. This is the inside of the Ziegfeld, where the few occasions I’ve been lucky enough to visit have made me excited enough to take pictures like this one.

If you’ve read almost anything else I’ve written for Busted Halo, you know I’m quite the moviegoer. As such, I’ve got some pretty fixed rituals for my average trip — big ol’ cup of soda, similarly oversized container of popcorn, buttered and salted just so — not healthy rituals by a long shot, but a pattern nonetheless, and one that is almost irrevocably linked to my cinematic experience. (Stephen King shares my sentiment, if you’re curious, in an old Entertainment Weekly piece that has stuck in my mind since 2008.) So with my popcorn and soda mentality at its standard operating level, that is to say quite ingrained, I headed off to the movies the other day unaware of the trial that stood ahead of me.

You see, it had slipped my mind entirely that it’s Lent. (If you’re wondering what movie I was seeing, by the way, Muppets: Most Wanted. It was a screening, and it was a pretty solid sequel, though I’ll admit I’d be hard-pressed to ever give the Muppets a bad review.) Back to Lent. I went into the theater wholly unsuspecting that, naturally, my standard popcorn and soda practices would be precluded by my choice of Lenten sacrifice. So as you would expect, my time near the concessions stand must have been quite the spectacle as I eagerly approached, started to wait in line, and then (sudden realization and defeat flushing my face) turned and trudged back into the theater. I may be exaggerating a bit there, but at the very least, that’s how it felt. Still, I’m proud that I was able to hold onto my Lenten promise in spite of my typical habits, so that’s nice. And even without the popcorn and soda, I had a pretty nice time (though you can bet I have a combo order on hold at the nearest AMC for Easter Monday…)

Does your Lenten sacrifice fly in the face of any established habits you have? How have you reconciled the two? Let us know in the comments!

The Author : Louis Sullivan
Louis graduated from Fordham University, where he majored in English and theology and is now pursuing an MBA in Marketing at Saint Peter's University. He is an avid comic book and movie fan, and is the publisher of the Batman website From the Batcave, as well as co-publisher of NYCityGuys.
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  • Kat Graham

    I gave up pop & red meat for Lent. The red meat has been no issue at all. The lack of pop, though, is quite another story. My biggest trial with it so far has been on pizza nights. Seriously? Milk with pizza? Water with pizza? Um, no—not the same beautiful pairing of diet coke/pizza for sure!! I tried lemonade—that was like sacrilege!! For shame!!! Oh well, life/Lent will go on, and there will be plenty of pizza nights to come with diet coke in hand. Best of luck on the rest of your journey!

  • Veronica

    I gave up sodas and candy, and I’ve actually done well since Ash Wednesday! I’ve surprised myself, in that I haven’t had an urge to gorge out on Cokes and my beloved Milk-Duds on the “cheat” Sundays…so far. I fear that at some point, I’m going to be stressed out to the max someday…and I’ll succumb. But for now, I’m enjoying my water/unsweet tea and fruit. The money I would’ve spent on sodas and candy I’m putting into the collection basket on Sundays.

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