Before I converted to Catholicism, I joked that being Jewish during Lent meant I automatically got a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card and Pass Go — straight on to the pink Peeps.
Lent means more to me these days.
I’m filled with gratitude during this penitential season, where I can contemplate my life, offer up my hardships to God, and ask him to help me become a better person.
I used to think Lent was just about giving up chocolate or french fries, but it’s so much more.
The three traditional practices of Lent — prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — help us understand the sacrificial love of Jesus, while also preparing for the celebration of his passion, death, and resurrection.
Growing up Jewish, I watched my Catholic friends and relatives (yes, we’re a mixed bunch!) give up things like chocolate or fast food, only to witness them gobble down a half-pound chocolate bunny and drive through McDonald’s after Mass. Sometimes, for fun, I would join in to see what I could give up for forty days, too.
However, we’re not limited to only pick something to give up for Lent, but rather choose something significant to add to our lives — such as waking up earlier, volunteering, or reading the Bible every day.
The Lenten season is the perfect opportunity to switch gears and refocus on becoming a better-version-of-yourself.
There’s a lot every individual can learn about the ritual of sacrificing for Lent. Giving up something often results in a person practicing self-denial and suffering, reminding him or her what God was willing to give up on his or her behalf.
It’s a time to turn down self-gratification and reflect and ponder on sacrifices we can make as individuals, as well as healthy habits we can do to help us be more like Christ and become the best-versions-of-ourselves.
So what am I going to do for Lent this year?
– Spend 10-15 minutes per day in silence.
– Pray a prayer of transformation every day.
– Read from the Gospels fifteen minutes each day.
– Read from Catholic books in my spare time. (I’m currently reading The Story of a Soul, among many others.)
Simple, yet powerful.
Just like Jesus.
Maybe four things seems like a lot to you. Or maybe not enough?
Originally, I had visions of going to daily mass this year, but at this season of my life, it’s just not going to happen — and I’m okay with that.
I hear what others are doing for lent and think, I should do that, too!
But my journey is not their journey and I shouldn’t compare.
If my list doesn’t feel right for your soul, then pick something different.
If you aren’t sure what to do, invite God into your heart and ask, “Lord, what is it you want me to do to grow closer to you and what must I do to inherit eternal life?
You can also check out Dynamic Catholic’s BEST LENT EVER.
What are your plans for this Lenten season, friend?
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