Being Catholic has always been a big part of my life growing up, and now that I'm in college, I strive to strengthen my relationship with God more than ever.
Today is Fat Tuesday, so I want to talk about what I plan on giving up for Lent this year.
Before I begin...check out this awesome article I shared on my Facebook last night:
1. Give something of myself
I decided this year that I would give something of myself in order to become a better person with a better heart...a person who is more trusting of God and His plan, rather than losing faith and letting negativity take over. This Lenten season, I will focus on truly believing that God has a plan for me that is far better than anything I could ever imagine, and that the future is brighter than I could ever realize.
Anytime I am having negative thoughts, feeling impatient, or giving up hope...I will remind myself that this doubt is not doing me ANY good. I do struggle with feelings of doubt, and like any person who gives up something for Lent, I am going bring my focus to God through what I've given up, in hopes that it will bring me closer to Him. I am using Lent as a means of becoming a more trusting follower of Christ.
2. Vow to do something
Lent is a time to grow more deeply in God's grace. By keeping up with this journal and doing it consistently and wholeheartedly, I will feel so much more connected to God.
3. Giving something up
A lot of people frown upon this one, but I really do like to give something up for Lent. There are two main reasons why. The first...
I feel more connected to the meaning of Lent when I give something up. Let's revisit Matthew 4:1-11...
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
By directly giving something up, I feel like it is a more direct representation of Jesus' fasting. So what is it that I'm giving up for Lent? Coke! Here's the second reason why:
An important aspect of Lent is that once Easter Sunday comes along, you've changed for the better. Lent should promote a lifestyle change... Even once Spring has come, you shouldn't completely go back to your old ways. Whatever it is that you gave up should help you, in some way, be a better person and hopefully make you closer to God. The Bible is bread for daily use...not cake for special occasions.
I give up Coke (and all sodas) every year, and when I want a Coke, I replace it with water. It's a way for me to be healthier during this time, and year after year I crave it less and less. I now try to drink 2 liters of water every day. It works for me! Find what works for you.
Not to mention...that cold, fizzy Coke tastes reaaaaaally good on Easter Sunday. It's the little things in life that help me appreciate some things in moderation.
A recap...this year I am....
1. Giving something of myself: let go of doubt
2. Vowing to do something: writing in a daily prayer journal
3. Giving something up: coca-cola
Speaking of Fat Tuesday...I think I'll drink my last Coke, and then hit the gym before I have to study all night.
Stay tuned for posts about the progress of my prayer journal and for posts on yummy meatless recipes for Lent! What are you giving up for Lent this year?