Every one seems to ask me "What did you give up for Lent?" or "What are you giving up for Lent?" I usually answer with a I don't know yet, because I don't normally give something up. I did give up candy and sweets as a child, and I often gave up something like soda during college. It worked I don't drink as much soda or eat at much candy as I have, but when it boils down to it, I go right back to that which I gave up on Easter Sunday. As in years past I looked to add something this year. I will once again try to say liturgy of the hours every day, I did try this as a New Year's resolution as well and it worked well, until I got lazy and stopped for a week and then Lent came so I added it back in. This year's Lenten promise to myself and to God is to get back to Adoration of sorts. Not in the formal way, which I would love, but in the informal way of just walking into a Catholic Church and sitting there with the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle. As my bishop, Bishop Serratelli, says, "just walk in and spend five minutes with the Blessed Sacrament."
Recently I spent 3 wonderful days on retreat with the parish youth group teens and told them that this is what I plan on doing for Lent, walking into the church and spending time with the Blessed Sacrament. Easier said than done, but I've decided that I will just show up early for Mass, or Fr. Ray's presentations and spend time with Jesus that way. Then again going to daily Mass is also something I add in each year. Yes I take the easy way out and go on my days off, but I'll make more of an effort to actually get to St. Paul Inside the Walls for daily Mass on the days that I have something down there.
I also plan on the eating better thing, but I've been doing that for a few weeks now; mainly actually watching what I eat and how much I eat. I do plan on starting Couch to 5k again and I'm usually pretty good at it when Lent is involved. I feel as if there is something else pushing me to do it as well. Granted the idea of adding extra point to eat (I'm doing Weight Watchers) is almost enough to get me running again.
I've also decided to re-read The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis and to read The Gargoyle Code by Fr. Dwight Longnecker. I've wanted to read Father's book and found the digital version of it, so it is now on the iPad and I read a "letter" a day as it's set for Lent. I'm enjoying both books and watching both men make fun of the Devil and his evil spirits. It also opens my eyes to how Evil works in the world and makes me more aware of what I an doing and what might be influencing me.
So I guess for Lent I am giving up being lazy and adding more in spiritually. I'm often reminded of Fr. Bill telling us while at Seton Hall about his nephew who would ask "Uncle Billy, did you give up yet?" instead of what did you give up, granted this nephew is probably now in college or out of it. Not an Ash Wednesday goes by where I don't think of this comment. As Fr. Bill said, "no I haven't given up yet." I'm also reminded of something else Fr. Bill said to me years later. "Mar, we're not perfect, do something extra for Holy Week, just make an extra effort to do it."
We're not perfect and I don't expect my Lent to be perfect nor should I. I know I will probably fall and fail at what I plan as now that I look at it I've opted for a lot of things to do. I didn't give up anything but I am adding in more to better me as a Christian and most especially a Catholic.