Like most Catholic families, when we were growing up my parents always insisted on my siblings and me to sacrifice something during Lent. Typically we would do the most common things: candy, TV or something simple. I'm pretty sure I grasped the significance at an early age, but I don't know exactly when the whole sacrifice idea became so blindly ritualistic. So much so that at times I didn't know what I could do or give that would make a difference, seeing as everyday life was hectic enough.
Every year around this time I always think to myself: I don't really live that decadent of a life. What is there to let go that won't affect my ability to function daily? Even the Friday fasting and abstinence from meat does not seem difficult at all for me. I've lately considered making regular Lenten donations to charity, but often I feel cheap as if I am just paying money to circumvent any true effort on my part.
Honestly I do beleive the all the sacrifices and self discipline serve a very valuable purpose. It can put things into perspective or help us better understand our priorities (not necessarily in a spiritual sense). I guess personally I need an occasional "pause" in my life to simply sit still, turn off everything and do absolutely nothing but reflect. Maybe sacrificing a little time might be worth something this Lent.
RZD on February 27, 2009 ~ 12:00 AM
Somehow, I think the whole 'giving up' something worked only as kids. Today, I'm not sure if the Ash Wednesday or Good Friday fast or even the abstinence from eating meat on Fridays of Lent is really a sacrifice, I mean unless you take pleasure in an activity it cannot be a sacrifice!
I like the concept of pause, someday… hopefully! and then of course you hope to be more kind, generous and the whole platoon of values but then it can't be limited to the Lenten season, maybe it's a good time to start. Maybe I'll start with patience…