Friday, February 20, 2009

Lenten Sacrifices

I had originally planned on giving up all sweet treats for Lent. I'm a sucker for sweets, especially chocolate, and so I thought it would be a good sacrifice. I always try to add something in too, so this year I told myself that I would add in a consistent evening examination of conscience, which is something I should be doing anyway. But I'm not that good at changing myself for the better, and so Lent is always a good opportunity to do just that.

However, I just finished reading this article over at Ask Sister Mary Martha. To quote she says:

If you want to lose weight or quit smoking, do it on your own time. Lent isn't
about looking better in your jeans or avoiding emphysema, although we wish you
the best on both those counts.

Lent is about giving up something that
will be a daily reminder of the fact that it's Lent. Then while you're thinking
about the fact that it's Lent, maybe you'll remember what Lent is all about.
Here's a good rule of thumb: If the thing you want to give up has an
"and besides" behind it, perhaps it's not the thing to give up, as in "I'm going
to give up butter for Lent because I slather everything with butter....besides,
it will help my cholesterol levels."

Although, if you slather butter
on everything and not having it will kind of ruin the taste of your food as far
as you're concerned and you could care less about your cholesterol level, than I
say, give up the butter. But if the whole time you've given up the butter and
your food is ruined and you keep thinking about how the doctor is going to clap
you on the back and say, "Good job!", forget it. You have taken the wrong path
to penitence.

And don't try to sidestep your plan. If you've decided to
eat your oatmeal plain, with no brown sugar or milk or raisins or anything, and
then you eat eggs half the time for breakfast, shame on you, you slacker. No one
let up on Jesus.

Yeah, that's why I love reading her. Really, I should be giving up sweet treats during Lent anyway. Lent is about sacrifice, not feasting. So the sweets should wait until after Easter, no matter my plans.

So I had to think for, oh, about a minute, before I thought of what would be a big sacrifice for me. Something I would really miss. That would be not only blogging, but reading blogs. There's a great big community out there, and I love being a part of it. However, perhaps during Lent, my time would be better spent doing spiritual readings instead, or praying a Rosary, or meditating on the Gospels.

So that's my plan. Fast from reading blogs and blogging myself. Add in spiritual reading (which I still need to decide on) and an examination of conscience in the evenings.

What are your plans for Lent?


Cheryl said...

I'm going to give up treats,limit my time online and increase spiritual reading and prayer time. (I hope.)

Michelle said...

I will miss you during your blog break.

I always give up sweets, because it seems wrong to eat them during Lent. But my true sacrifice is giving up good coffee and giving up milk in my coffee.