“Although Lent is often the excuse people use to test drive a new diet or make good on their New Year’s resolution, that is not its purpose. Lent is a time when we prepare for Holy Week by meditating on our fragility before God and our desperate need for a Savior.” ~ Sharon Hodde Miller
I am sad when people view Lent as stated above. That being said, I used to be that way myself. When Lent came around, I already had the things picked that I was going to do. Being children raised in a very religious household and taught by the Sisters, I knew the requirements for Lent. And, by God, I was going to meet those requirements — lest I be punished by the powers that be.
We have to give something up for Lent. Okay. I’ll give up something that I like but can live without. I’m certainly not going to give up something that I really like. Give something up? Got that covered. Check.
We’re supposed to do something good for someone else. Hey, that’s not a problem. I’ll make sure that I do something when I can be noticed. Maybe I’ll even get a reward for doing it. Doing something good? Check.
We should pray more. That’s not hard at all. I can rattle off some Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be’s while walking to school. I generally walk alone anyway so I can get those prayers out of the way for the day. Praying more? Check.
Yep. I was a “surface Christian” when I was young. I did what was required but didn’t do it for the right reasons. I did them out of obligation and my heart certainly wasn’t in it. Too many times, that is how Christians live their lives. They meet obligations, fulfilling the letter of the law, but do not understand the concept of Lent and fail to embrace the spirit of the law.
Be honest. What is your Lent like? Are you basically meeting requirements or are you embracing the spirit of Lent in order to become more holy, more like Christ?
FAITH ACTION: In prayer today, ask God to reveal the things about yourself that still need to be changed in order to be more like the person God is calling you to be.