Yesterday, one of my brothers in law called me to tell me about what a child in one of the religious education classes said at his parish church. The teacher of the second grade class asked the students, “Do any of you know how long Lent is?”
One excited child shot their hand up higher than all the rest, clearly wanting to be chosen. The teacher called on the student who proudly said, “Four letters long!”
I thought it was such a cute answer. The truth is, Lent is a long 40 days from Ash Wednesday to the vigil of Holy Saturday (the Sundays do not count because Sundays are days for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at Mass). It’s a time of penance and sacrifice for Catholics.
That being said, most Catholics either “give something up” or “do something extra” during Lent that shows they too, are wiling to sacrifice for the faith, or do an act of mercy in the name of Jesus.
For me, giving up an item—like chocolate, or wine, or watching television—doesn’t have the same impact as doing something. I think it is because there have been many times in my life when I had to sacrifice things like chocolate or alcohol due to medical reasons. And giving up television, for example, wouldn’t really affect me too much because it takes me at least an hour to pick something on Netflix anyway, and by that time, I am generally too tired to watch!
But adding something into my schedule is extremely hard because I’m forgetful and tend to be lazy. I admire people who volunteer their time, and do things for others. I think that is where my soul needs a lot of work! (I think whatever you do, either giving up something or doing something—is a decision that you have to make with God.)
So this year, readers, I’m going to do a #40daystopray Lenten challenge. That means I’m going to pray for family and friends each and every day for 40 days. If you would like to be included, just add your name to the comments field below and I will personally pray for you as well.
What are you doing for Lent? Do you generally give up something or do something?