The End of Lent

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.

About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
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6 Responses to The End of Lent

  1. Gareth says:

    Hi David,

    On the point of attending Daily Mass – I think it is honorable for any Catholic to put this on their ‘to do more’ list but speaking from my own experience I think it is honorable for any Catholic that attends Mass on a daily Mass to pray to God that it does not become a ‘habit’ thing that becomes meaningless as the years progress.

    I can only talk from my own experience. I have been attending daily Mass on a consistent basis for the past ten years as I have been priviliged for the past three or four years to work right in the middle of my city’s CDB where a Church similar to St Francis in Melbourne is situated, so I don’t have to walk far!

    In the first few years I found daily Mass a very moving and devout experience, but after a few years I naturally found that it gradually become a habit and my concentration would sometimes slip to the point that I at times would not really be taking things in as much as I should. I guess this happens to everyone with many things in life.

    I had to take a good reflection about this and decided that I would attend Mass two to three times a week as opposed to every single day. I gradually found my concentration levels increased (which is not always easy as often lunctime Mass comes straight after an energy sapping meeting at Work) and tooks things ‘in’ a bit more and paid more attention to the readings.

    I am sharing my own personal experience because I felt it is something for daily Mass attendees to at least be aware of. We are not all robots and by nature these things happen.

    For those that attend daily Mass, a prayer to remember is that attending Mass each day can become a daily meaningful experience rather than something out of habit.

  2. Hannah says:

    Hi David, for me I am personally glad Lent is over. It was a shocker this year! from quite a bit illness in family and self, to temptations which dont usually happen, to not wanting to pray and having to oveerride that, to massive loads of medical tests to being calumniated and not being able to do much about it, to feelinng abandoned. So am I glad is over!!! Hallelujah bring on Easter Monday!
    Hannah

  3. Tony Bartel says:

    “Lent officially ends this evening.”

    For those who follow the Byzantine rite, Lent officially ended last Friday evening :-)

    Have a blessed Triddum and Easter.

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