I work with a group of what I'll call immature Catholics. For them, Lent seems to be all about chocolate and sweets. The non-Catholics also get into the act.
"Tell Joyce what you gave up for Lent".
If I hear that again, I may very well scream.
If I were to tell you how many of these chocolate-starved folks go to Mass or know anything at all about their faith, you would be revolted. Cultural Catholics most of them, like so many others in the world.
I understand now why some more learned Catholics than I think that giving up chocolate and other sweets is child's play. If that's the extent of sacrifice and effort, the point has been missed.
As soon as I resolve to do anything, particularly if I resolve to do so publicly, I have already lost the battle. I don't know the reason for it but it's true, so what I resolve to do from now on is simply give up altogether. Give up the focus on myself and what I want and what makes me happy. Give up any resolution of doing this thing or that for Lent. Give up declaring what my latest spiritual endeavor will be. Simply give up, and let Christ take over as He sees fit.
Once again borrowing from the Little Flower, that might be a kind word when none presents itself, appearing interested in someone or something that bores me to tears, an act of kindness where one might be least expected. It might involve my spouse, and not the street person who comes up to me on the corner and then fades back into oblivion after an exchange of alms.
I need to live Lent minute by minute and, in imitation of St Therese, not let too many of them pass "without a single loving thought of God." And not dwell on the falls so much as the getting back up again.