Lent officially ends this evening. Deacon John has been discussing the pros and cons of taking on an “ambitious” Lenten discipline. This Lent, I didn’t try anything definitive, in other words, not total rules about giving up this or that entirely, or doing this or that every day. Rather I tried a “more or less” style Lent, and in this I feel I was pretty successful.
On the “more” list:
- Going to daily mass (tick – as often as possible anyway)
- Praying Morning and Evening Prayer (tick – thanks to the Divine Office app on my iPhone)
- Spontaneous giving to charities (tick – the idea was that if I saw a collector I gave without another thought)
- Weekly confession (tick. As for why, see the last item on the “less” list)
On the “less” list:
- Alcohol (tick – I have certainly cut down, and noticed that my appetite for it has reduced too)
- Tobacco (no tick, I’m afraid. I wasn’t trying to give up, just cut down from two pipes to one pipe a day for financial reasons)
- Food and Meat (tick – no complete bans or fasts – except as mandated by the Church – but a general cut down. I’ve lost some weight too – no, really, I have – so some of my old trousers fit me again.)
- Sin (big fail).
Of course, it really is sin that one is supposed to “give up” for Lent. But I can say that regular – really regular – confession has been a great aid in this department.
It hasn’t been a perfect Lent for me, but it has been more beneficial than many of my other rather more “heroic” attempts.
Enough introspection for now.
I pray that Lent has been a positive time for you, and that you have become more “convicted”, “committed” and “converted” as a disciple of our Lord. I wish you all the best for the holy days now upon us. As Fr Z. says: Pray for me, as I will for you.