“When people cheat in any arena, they diminish themselves — they threaten their own self-esteem and their relationships with others by undermining the trust they have in their ability to succeed and in their ability to be true.”
~ Cheryl Hughes
Every year during Lent priests field questions from people about their resolutions. The questions often revolve around ways to “get around” the resolutions once in a while. The biggest one, of course, is “I hear that Sundays are not days of Lent. Do I have to give up candy on Sundays if I gave it up for Lent?”
The answer to that question, often, is not the one they wanted to hear because it usually is: “It all depends upon how honest you want to be with your resolutions. If you’re looking for ways to break them or get around them, you’ve already lost.”
As much as people do not like to hear that, it is true.
Whenever we work hard on finding ways to get out of doing something that we have promised ourselves or others that we would do, we have already failed. After all, the Season of Lent is not about cutting corners or getting around obligations, it is about embracing the Lord’s will for us even if the way is difficult.
The weekend before Ash Wednesday, I jokingly stated during my homily that I would not have to fast anymore because, after all, I am 60 years old now and anyone 59 and over is exempt from the law of fasting. However, if I wish to embrace the season of Lent for all that it is worth, I embrace not the letter of the law but the spirit of the law. We fast for a reason. As long as we are medically able to do so, we should engage in the fast because it helps us get into the spirit of the season.
We could spend all of our energy looking for ways to get around our obligations or we could ask for the grace that we need to shoulder our obligations. Lent is about sacrifice. Lent is about prayer. Lent is about doing good for others. Lent is about doing all that we can to get closer to God.
FAITH ACTION: Be true to your Lenten Resolutions today. Do not look for the easy way out.