Friday, February 19, 2010

More Than Chocolate

A well-known priest blogger recently admonished that giving up chocolate is something children do for Lent. I don't think he meant to suggest that it's wrong to give something up for Lent, only that we should make more than this kind of sacrifice to become closer to God. Rather than give up something, we can fast by doing something. Do what?

1. One of the hardest things for us as prideful human beings is to take blame for something we didn't do. Naturally, I don't mean to suggest you should take blame for a crime someone else committed, but you could "take the hit" for something small around the house or in the workplace that was the fault of someone else. Think of St. Therese, who had to "run away to keep from defending myself" when blamed for leaving something out of order or creating a mess. Think of the accusations hurled at Our Lord to which He offered not one defense. It's a small thing, but it's the love with which it is done that makes it priceless.

2. We could take this a step further and in the confessional, simply accept any admonitions the priest might give rather than offer any kind of defense. I might have to bite my tongue to accomplish this, personally speaking!

3. We could go out of our way to do something nice for a person we have an aversion to.

4. Personally speaking, I can learn to offer up disturbances and distractions at Mass or Adoration and refrain from showing my displeasure by shaking my head or glancing over at the culprit.

5. We can hold our tongue for that person who really seems to know how to push our buttons. And we can pray for them and thank God for putting them in our path to holiness.

6. We can refrain from offering our opinion on something.

7. We can spend more free time in prayer rather than on the computer or some other form of entertainment. We could also do more spiritual reading, as we are urged to do during Lent.

8. We can have an uncomfortable conversation with someone rather than "venting" behind their back, if what we will say is for their own good and not our benefit.

9. Rather than give up something we like to eat, we can go out of our way to eat something we don't like.

10. We can set aside a few hours on a beautiful sunny day to spend some time in Adoration, especially if we had other plans. We should be glad to do this as there is no one we should like to be with more than our Eucharistic Lord.

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