Lent began for us on Ash Wednesday when we were reminded that God calls us to take stock of our lives and see if we are faithful to our Baptismal commitment. Some- times in past Lents, we may have promised to GIVE UP something, i.e. to sacrifice a little. (a favorite TV show, going out to eat, a hobby we like, etc.). My question to you is WHY? Do we then have more time to devote to doing something good for others, to do inspirational reading , or to open our Bible to seek God’s guidance? I can’t claim to have had any mystical experiences during Lent, but I have found that fasting from something has helped me focus on God. It has also helped me look ahead to Good Friday and Easter, thus appreciating more deeply the meaning of the cross and the victory of the resurrection. Maybe we can be much more prepared to meditate upon the depth of Christ’s sacrifice, and to celebrate his victory over sin and death on Easter, if we discipline ourselves.
Fasting from food or pleasures is a discipline. Authors have written that if a certain spiritual discipline helps you grow in God’s grace, then by all means do it. But don’t do it to brag about it, or to show off to others. We are only asked to fast ( eat one main meal) on Ash Wed. and Good Friday. (ages 14-59). Hopefully Lent can help us get ready for a deeper celebration of Good Friday and Easter. If a further discipline allows us to grow in God’s grace, then by all means enter into it fully. We should realize, that millions of Christians – Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and others – have found that recognizing the season of Lent enriches our worship and deepens our faith in God. Let us pray that we follow God’s lead for us this season of Lent.