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St. Paul's Staff Blog

Indulge for Lent?

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It's a common question every year at about this time.  I even remember hearing it when I was a child and, I suppose because I wasn’t Catholic, I didn’t understand what it meant.  The question:  What are you giving up for Lent?  

These days, some common answers are:  Chocolate, red meat, Facebook and watching TV.  Making a decision to cut out these non-essentials is admirable, but alone, giving up chocolate probably doesn't get to the heart of Lent.

So, here is another idea for Lent that I recently read about.  Rather than sacrificing something for Lent — especially something easy and spiritually insignificant, such as chocolate — Patty Kirk, in Guideposts magazine, suggests finding new ways to indulge in God’s presence.  Surely, one can do this by having extra devotions or attending special midweek Lenten worship services. But Kirk offers these additional ideas, too:

• Spend time outdoors, sensing God’s magnificence.
• Extend generosity and compassion. Remember Jesus’ promise that when you care for others, you care for him (Matthew 25:31-46).
• Pray for the “little things,” coming before God in childlike trust and feeling peace.
• Watch attentively for God’s answers to prayer, and receive them as reminders of his presence.
• Turn anxiety into prayer. As you frame concerns as prayers and entrust them to God, you “sacrifice” the tendency to wallow in worry.

So, go ahead.  Indulge! 

2 Comments

Thank you, Jane, for your kind words. I love your comment: "I focus on what He gave up for me." : )
Thank you, Becky, once again, for pointing us in the right direction. I have added scripture reading to my morning prayer time every day and it starts me off with joy. I agree with you about praying for the little things. I talk to Him about every little thing during my day, and He answers. (some times even as I ask) I really do not "give up" anything for Lent. I focus on what He gave up for me. Jesus went through so very much to give me the gift of salvation and eternal life. I am extremely grateful! I am also grateful to you for your eye-opening Blogs. Thank you.

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