A new season will be starting in a few weeks.  Ash Wednesday, Feb 22, will begin the season of Lent for 2012 which will culimnate in Easter.  For Catholics, this is a time of renewal where we rededicate ourselves to the Lord.  It's a somber time as we remember all the things Jesus went through to fullfill His mission.  It's also a time to traditionally "give up" something.

However, I've given up that practice long ago.  What the season really calls for is to do something that will help you grow spiritually and become closer to the Lord.  Giving something up, or, more precisely, fasting from a practice (doesn't need to be food!) is a great method of building spiritual muscles by teaching us control over our bodies and our desires.  Being able to deny the physical for the spiritual is an excellent way to become closer to God.

However, another good way to build those spiritual muscles is to do something specific to achieve this goal.  Things like recommitment to daily prayer, making a concerted effort to help those less fortunate, etc are also great things to do for Lent.  In recent years I've been doing something extra instead of giving something up.  It's easy to say you won't eat chocolate for Lent but once Easter's over, you eat chocolate again and you haven't grown spiritually.  However, if you do something extra, like say praying the Rosary, you will hopefully build some new habits that you can continue well after Easter and have really grow spiritually.

I'm actually looking forward to Lent.  I have an idea of what I'll be doing this year.  I tend not to announce what it will be as I beleive these things are more powerful if you don't make a big deal out of them.  The Gospels say to pray in secret so that He who sees in secret will know what you're doing but the world will not.  I'm a big believer in doing things for the right reasons and not for show.  I beleive its the quiet person that lives their faith that is a more powerful example than the person who makes a big show of how pious they are.


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