For those who commemorate it (like me) today marks the start of Lent – Ash Wednesday. When I was in primary school, the thing that I’d always give up would be chocolate. Simple and basic, but hard at times … it got into a routine, but was good for young me. In Year 12, I forbade myself from going to certain websites which were major distractors to study. That was helpful then. Over the past few years I’ve tried to do something different instead. I try to be kinder to certain people I tend to get annoyed at, or something like that.
This year, I’ll be following the advice given below…looking at what I really love and why, then trying to do more of that and less of other things. As well as practice my sense of situational awareness.
As I write this reflection it’s the third week in Epiphany and I’ve been thinking about Lent for a couple of weeks now. I am thinking about Shrove Tuesday; the pancake supper, the palms we will burn, and the ashes we will prepare for the next day’s liturgy. I am thinking about the fragility of life, mortality, and the ashes that will mark our foreheads on Ash Wednesday. I am thinking about the Church’s invitation “to the observance of a holy Lent by forty days of self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” The old voices in my head are asking, “What are you giving up for Lent this year?”
I’ve been thinking a lot about Lent and the truth is I don’t want to do Lent this year. Now maybe that’s something a priest isn’t supposed to say but I did and I mean what I said. I don’t want to do Lent this year. I don’t want to just get through Lent. I want Lent to get through to me. I want Lent to do me. …
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Here’s a paragraph from another site which says similarly:
“So, here’s a suggestion for Lent. Instead of giving up something, indulge. So, instead of giving up chocolate, allow yourself to indulge in healthy food and snacks. Instead of sacrificing by doing volunteer work at a soup kitchen, allow yourself to be open to the gifts and lessons the poor can teach you when you are engaged in charitable work. Instead of forcing yourself to pray every day, allow yourself a half-hour to just be quiet with God and relax in Divine Love. God is lavishing mercy on us in a special way this year. Let’s learn to accept it and enjoy it.” (Original article here:https://newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/its-ash-wednesday-time-to-indulge/ )