The season of Lent started this past week and for the past two weeks I have been seeing blog posts and posts on Facebook about the Lenten promise. The various readings are all fairly similar. They are all about helping people figure out what their Lenten promise should be. Well Lent has been going on about half a week now so you should already have been doing your Lenten promise for a few days which means any advice from me about what to pick as your Lenten promise would really not be helpful. Instead I’m going to focus on why. Why do we celebrate Lent?
Some people would answer this question by saying we use this time to prepare our hearts and lives for Jesus. Ok, but didn’t we just do that during Advent? Another involves finding our way closer to God. But shouldn’t I be doing that everyday of my? What honestly makes Lent different from the rest of the year? Is the only difference really just that we give something up?
Yes and no. Giving up something is only part of Lent, and of course that is why it is extremely important to really think about your Lenten promise. For me, Lent has given me the excuse I needed to give up something that has been taking over my life; however, there’s a flip side to this.
My Lenten promise was to give up watching Netflix/TV/movies/anything longer than a few minutes. I didn’t just do this because I watch too much Netflix or because my homework wasn’t getting done. About once a week before mass I would have a small opportunity to read one of my religious books. I would get this intense feeling and want to continue reading and explore the faith more but then after mass I would fall back into old habits and watch Netflix. Giving up Netflix gives me the time I needed to explore my faith a little more.
A Lenten promise is about giving up something that stops you from reaching Christ but then also putting that little extra effort into becoming more like the person God created us to be. How does your Lenten promise allow you to reach up to God?