Why are we even doing this?
Why are we fasting?
Why are we praying?
Why are we giving alms?
Every year, this liturgical season comes around, and everyone hops on board. Ready to sacrifice their favorite foods, habits, and tendencies. Ready to spend more time with our Lord.
But my question for you is, are you doing it just because everyone else is doing it and it’s “that time of year,” or are you doing it because you’re choosing it with your free will?
Sometimes our faith can so easily turn into this merry-go-round rhythm, where we are doing things and going through the motions in the Catholic Church without thinking twice. And this can happen especially in Lent, even if we start off with the good intention of approaching Lent with the goal of greater intimacy with Christ.
So take a moment with me.
Take a deep breath.
Ask yourself these questions as you read…
“What did I choose to fast from this Lent?”
“How am I intentionally praying during Lent?”
“How am I giving alms this Lent?”
“Why am I doing these things?”
What was that original intention? What was that reason that caused you to say, “Oh I’ve GOTTA give this up this year.”
That desire to give “that thing” up or pray more in a certain way is there because at the core you know that it is pulling you away from a deeper relationship with Christ. And all we really ever crave in this life is to be with Him. United to Him entirely.
We look for it elsewhere. We think the world will satisfy, but it never will. That is why we do any of this in the first place.
We reject our earthly bodies of the things we desire to remind us that we were not made for this world.
We pray more and spend more time with Jesus to hopefully instill a more routine rhythm of prayer with our Creator. Because we need that time with Him regularly, all year– not just during Lent.
And we give alms, to be less attached to our finances and less attached to our control of how we desire to spend. Whether that means giving of our paychecks or giving of our time.
I write this with conviction of heart because we need to be reminded of these truths consistently throughout Lent. This is not a season to be better at habit tracking. This is a season for companionship with Christ.