As Christians we “celebrate” (or more accurately endure) Lent. Lent is the forty days before Easter (minus Sundays) when we fast, pray, and deny ourselves some earthly pleasure. This is why a common question in my faith is “What are you giving up for Lent?” In fact, child #3 was asked this very question last Sunday by the priest. She didn’t know what to say. She is not sure about God these days, which, of course, breaks my heart. She has the mind of a six-year-old, thanks to dad-inflicted trauma and can’t wrap her mind around how there can be a God if all of what happened to our family happened. It did, but I still believe, and not just believe, but work for and toward God. He is my friend, confidante, confessor, and judge. She cannot see it. I’m still praying on that one!
But I digress…we were discussing Lent. Child #3 is not participating in the giving up something that brings pleasure for Lent. She refuses and I’m not going to pick this battle. Usually, we each give up something that would be a sacrifice to live without. One year I gave up TV. My soul must have been immaculate, because that was extremely painful!!! The usual suspects range from chocolate and sugar to video games and TV, etc.
We have also tried doing something extra instead of giving anything up. We’ve done the Corporal (feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead) and Spiritual (instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear patiently those who wrong us, forgive offenses, comfort the afflicted, pray for the living and the dead) works of mercy. I’ve done Bible reading and just opening up the Bible and reading until I find some words that are so encouraging and speak to me so clearly that I write them down in a special journal for this exact purpose.
Whatever you choose to do or to deny yourself, Godspeed to all and have a beautiful and holy Lenten season and look forward to the joy of Easter!