Lenten Reflection

Why give anything up for Lent? Why not take up something instead?


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This is the Lenten season, when we’re invited to give up something “for Lent,” for God.

The practice comes from the early Middle Ages, when this six-week period was called the famine time, starvation time, for autumn stores had run low by February and spring planting still lay far off. Brilliantly the Church invited us to offer something up for God with the idea that our hunger (inescapable) could be shifted to the constant contemplation of God and warm our suffering.

Deepen Your Faith with These Guideposts Books for Lent! 

Today we trivialize it: giving up ice cream, smoking, alcohol, food. But why give anything up?

Why not take up something instead? For Lent, you say, I will practice forgiving everyone, from the violent abuse to the littlest slight—turn my will and life over to the God of my understanding and with the help of angels act as I would like to be acted on. Or why not practice smiling for Lent? Smile at everyone. Or practice kindness, practice joy, practice (and this is hard for some) transforming every negative thought into a positive one, so that you shine with optimism and hope. There’s a practice for the love of God.

Tags: Faith,Lent
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