“We can think of Lent as a time to eradicate evil or cultivate virtue, a time to pull up weeds or plant good seeds. Which is better is clear, for the Christian ideal is always positive rather than negative.” ~ Fulton J. Sheen
For many, Lent is a “negative” season. That is, many focus on the aspect of “giving up”, of “doing without”, of eating “less”, of “avoiding” favorite things. While that may, indeed, be a part of the season, sometimes the attitude of a person gets affected. Giving up makes a person feel negative. That person may view Lent with dread rather than in the expectant hope that the season should be embraced.
Lent is far from negative. It is a season of great hope, a season of purification, a season of newness of life. We do some of the “negative” things that we do in order to become better people. Our focus is not supposed to be on the negative — the things we give up, the mortification that we do — but, rather, on the outcome which is always positive because the goal of Lent is to encounter Christ in a deeper way. Becoming renewed by the season, Lent should be seen as nothing but positive.
However, one of the reasons for people viewing Lent in a negative light is the length of the season. Lent, at its very beginning, can look wonderful and great and hopeful. However, as the days plod on, we can begin to become mired in what we are doing. Our focus on the things in our lives that need to change can make us morose. Instead of turning to the Lord and seeking His grace, help, and forgiveness, we become tempted to give up.
Just remember, the temptation to give up is not only our mortal, human nature speaking. That could also be the enemy. There is a power that wants us to give up, to abandon our Lenten resolutions, and to walk away from God. Do not let the enemy win. The season of Lent, properly executed, gives us all the grace that we need to defeat the enemy as we draw ever closer to the Lord.
FAITH ACTION: Approach your Lenten resolutions with a positive attitude, knowing that you are bettering yourself this day.