40 Days of Lent

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As practicing Catholics, each Spring during Lent, we celebrate Ash Wednesday and vow to give up certain luxuries for 40 days as a form of penance.  With every year, the sacrifices become more and more creative.  It’s not as it was several years ago where giving up our time for charitable work was the obvious form of sacrifice.  On the morning show as I was driving to work last week, the radio hosts were discussing giving up sweets.  Others may choose to forego alcohol, smoking, cursing, Facebook or other habit forming vices.  I chuckled when I heard someone chose to give up “being Catholic” for 40 days.

In any event, our sacrifices this season were rather silly and unexciting but significant nonetheless.  Ernesto chose to give up beer (which is not to include other ‘beverages”), I chose knuckle-cracking because it is just a hideous act that I’ve held onto for years and know secretly annoys everyone around me but they just don’t speak up!  Maya’s sacrifice comes from a special assortment that I’ve been ‘gathering’ for this sacred period.  It was decided that she will stop biting her fingernails as they are bitten to the BONE and we started to call them nubs.  We will be watching her closely!

Just the other day at Maya’s martial arts practice, one of the parents says to me, “I don’t know how to get Hayley to stop fidgeting and biting her nails.  She’s always so full of nervous energy.”  I said, “One word.  Lent.  40 days.  No nail biting.  Try it!”  He just smiled.  “Hmmm, guess that could work…if we were Catholic.”  So, with Spring Break approaching and travels soon underway, we shall see how successful we are with our attempts to surrender these senseless habits while still enjoying some fun.  There’s really no reason not to.  But as humans, we succumb to weakness at the mere thought of giving up life’s simple but self-destructing pleasures!  Well, at least ‘some’ of us.  But never mind all that.  POSITIVE attitude.  After all, Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days, enduring moments of temptation throughout, but he prevailed in the end.  Keep us in your prayers!