It's not a sacrifice if it's easy, and it's not a good Lent if you're not at least a little uncomfortable for the next 39 days. What would be the point otherwise? What would we prove?
Because, you know, it is about proving something.
* We're proving our self-knowledge: that we have sins to make up for.
* We're proving that we are, with His help, stronger than the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. By exercising our will against very concrete and physical desires, we build spiritual, mental, and even physical muscles.
* We're proving to the devil that we know he tries to mislead us with the pleasures of the world and we aren't so stupid as to be misled! We can give up the pleasures of the world for a greater good! And that old Loser can just go soak his head!
* We're proving to ourselves that we're made of tough stuff, that we're stronger than rumbly tummies and caffeine headaches. The power of our own wills, our own decision to choose good Lenten sacrifices and stick them through to the end is the very same force that will save our souls in the very very end. We need to know this about ourselves; we need to feel the power of our own wills -- because God will always help us, but in the end, we must save our own souls. It has to be our decision, and it's vital to work on the muscles of our will for God and to know that we're strong and capable of winning.
Lent does that. It proves all these things. Our sacrifices prove them.
So, let's all get out there now and "give it up" for Lent!
(And remember, no whining or fussing! There are no wimps or crybabies here. We can do this thing and smile with the effort!)
|Hang in there! We can do this thing, and do it well!|