I am not’giving up’anything for Lent.

Lent is rightfully associated with sacrifice and self-denial. It is intended to remind us of the sacrifice Christ made for us and for our sins. It is a time for us as Christians to repent and reconcile ourselves with God. Part of that tradition is to deny ourselves a convenience or two in the hope of growing closer to God.

What are you ‘giving up’ for Lent?

I will do exactly that for the next few weeks. However, when someone asks, “What are you giving up for lent?” I proudly respond – “Nothing! I am letting go of a thing or two but, I am not giving up anything. Rather, I am gaining faith and growing closer to God!”

Gaining spiritual fulfillment

The point of letting go of a favorite food, hobby or other material indulgence is to remind us that we can be plenty happy without those things. Letting go of such things leaves room for spiritual fulfillment. And spiritual fulfillment can be much longer lasting.

When I eliminate watching TV during dinner (my personal Lenten ‘sacrifice’), I gain the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with my wife. And such a conversation is spiritually fulfilling. When I let go of a favorite dessert, I gain an appetite for something healthy. When I let go of almost any extraneous material desire, the void is filled with a greater love for Christ.

Letting go

Lent is a wonderful time of the year. I don’t have to “give up” a thing. Rather, I “let go” of some things and what I gain in return is a Divine bargain. I would love to hear what you are “letting go” and what you hope to gain in return. Happy Lent everyone!

6 Replies to “I am not’giving up’anything for Lent.”

  1. Deacon Turner, it was refreshing to read your post about lent. I have been feeling that way for a few years now. For me, I came to realize that it wasn’t about giving up soda, chocolate, fast food, facebook, etc for 40 days, rather it was about coming deepening and gaining a closer relationship with Christ.
    This year for lent, I am not giving up anything except time. Time spent doing anything else and sitting down to read God’s Holy word. I have started a 1 year reading plan of the Bible. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so having 40 days should solidify this and with God’s help carry me through the remaining 325 days.

    1. Fred – I like your point in the last sentence very much. Most sins start out as bad habits. Once the habit is broken, the sin is defeated. Happy Lent

  2. I enjoyed your post too. When I was younger, I would give up things like chocolate, TV or desserts, but now that I’m older I’m rather at a loss for what to “give up” because I’ve more or less cut sweets out of my diet, and I don’t watch very much TV. One priest told me it’s not so much about what you give up for Lent, but what you give and how you act. So this Lent I decided it was a good time to start going to daily mass more, starting my intense training for the Marine Corps Marathon, since I will likely have to support 2 charities for the run this year, and helping others, but also making sure I am spiritually healthy. I do fast, and I abstain from meat on Fridays. I took a vow of celibacy with a friend back in August – no dating, no relationships, nothing of that sort just so we can look at where we went wrong in past relationships, but also better ourselves and make sure we are healed. I’ve also had so much more time for friends, family and my faith since I’ve cut dating and relationships out of my life. The celibacy vow with my friend is only for a year, but I may go longer, depending on how I feel about dating and relationships after that.

    Enjoyed reading your post, you always have some interesting and true insights to things!

    1. Katherine,

      Thank you – Likewise, I enjoy your replies. You seem to be on your way to mastering the art of Lent. For both us, all glory and honor to God! Happy Lent!

  3. Very helpful! This is something i have been thinking about. Look forward to reading more next month.

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