“What if we view this desert time of Lent as not just a time to reflect or to lament or to confess or to fast, but a time where we learn to be free?” ~ Megan Westra
Give up sweets? Check
Go to Mass? Check
Do a good deed? Check
Spiritual reading? Check
Spend time in faith-sharing with someone? Check
Avoid temptation? Check
Went to confession? Check
Checked your checklist? Check
Are you sue? Check
Look familiar? Sometimes, our Lent is filled with checklists. We view the season as a to-do list and, oftentimes, as nothing more than that. As long as we’ve checked off the appropriate boxes each day, we feel that the season has been a complete success.
Lent is so much more that that, though. Lent is not supposed to be about obligation. Lent is about opportunity. When we freely engage in Lenten practices we can find ourselves falling deeper into the mystery of Lent. That has the power to free us to do even more. If, on the other hand, we merely accomplish required task upon required task, Lent will be viewed as a burden and something to get through in order to get back to our “regular” lives.
There is nothing regular about being a Christian. Christians are all about going over-and-above. Christians are counter-cultural. Christians, in the words of Emeril, kick it up a notch. There is nothing more freeing than to lovingly use the gifts that God has given to us in service of others. You can’t beat the feeling you get when you do that.
FAITH ACTION: Live your faith without shame or embarrassment today.