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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • You're correct in that giving up, say, dairy products isn't in itself a beneficial thing; I've always seen the purpose of Lent as to give up things which are at risk of becoming idols.

    This year, I've found myself becoming obsessive about playing Go [], so from tomorrow I'm taking a 40 day break from playing go, solving any go problems or reading about go. Why? Is go in itself bad? Not per se, but it can become bad when it starts taking over time that should be used for more important things, like, oh, I dunno, prayer.

    Like so many things, it's about the spirit rather than the letter - self-denial of anything, particularly things like dairy products, is pretty meaningless on its own; if, on the other hand, you're doing it to gain more time with God and as a sign to remind yourself about Him ("I'll have a glass of milk - no, hold on, I'm fasting because...") then that's surely a Good Thing.