Let’s make something clear.
I am not a Catholic.
This is something that my mother tries to force down my throat every year around this time, when I start talking about what I might give up for Lent. “You’re not Catholic!” she says. “You were raised Baptist! You’re not supposed to give up anything!”
I was in college when I first encountered people close to me that observed Lent. Sheltered as I was, I had a lot of questions. It was a few years, but after much deliberation I started giving up things for Lent as well. At first it was the more popular sacrifices: chocolate, alcohol, salt, swearing. Not too difficult, seeing as how I don’t go to chocolate first, don’t drink much (I was the permanent Designated Driver in college), I don’t add salt to my food, and at the time I was on a righteous kick so I rarely swore. Plus there was always Sunday, which as a feast day was the day where you could indulge. I made up for the prior week with mimosas and horrid food at brunch! 🙂
As I grew older, there were years where I halfheartedly made Lenten sacrifices. Candy. (Don’t really eat it.) Sex. (Wasn’t having it anyway.) Smoking. (Never smoked in my life.) Going out and partying. (Never partied–I was working three jobs, so when I had free time all I wanted to do was sleep.) Then, about five years ago, I finally got serious. What is the point of sacrificing something if it wasn’t something that was difficult? Continue reading