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What Are You Giving Up?

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The season of Lent, which begins Ash Wednesday (February 22), should put us in the mood for sacrifice. The 40 days leading up to Holy Week are meant to prepare us spiritually and even physically for recalling the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, and bringing into our hearts and minds the significance of these events in our lives as Catholics.

We are required to fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday – far fewer days than in the past – and are asked to choose a particular penance for the season. Most of us opt for giving up something, such as candy, desserts, snacks or other pleasures. Some go on a “holy diet” to lose weight and offer their hunger to Christ.

Others add something during Lent. Extra times for prayer, going to Mass daily, charitable works such as manning a soup kitchen or praying outside an abortion clinic.

The goal of our Lenten “plus” or “minus” should be a closer union with Christ through his suffering and death, so that we may also be united with him in his resurrection. As St. Paul wrote: “If we have died with him, we will also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11).

What are you doing for Lent? Use the Comment Box below to add your ideas or read those of fellow readers.