Dessert. Coffee. Pop. Fast Food. Social media. Screen time. These are common items that are given up for Lent. Supplements in faith life, such as additional prayer or almsgiving, are also typical. Lent is a six-week period before Easter characterized by additional sacrifice. Personally, I participate in this practice, as it is a key element of my faith.
One of the most challenging parts of the Lenten season is discerning what to sacrifice. I started by contemplating possible bad habits and frequent indulgences of mine. I also considered how active I am in my faith and possible improvements in this regard. After examining this information, I decided to fast throughout the season. I will use Sundays as an exemption for my Lenten sacrifice of fasting, as is common in my faith. I also am resolved to attend daily Mass at least once a week.
The reason that I choose to sacrifice is that it is essential for self-reflection. During Lent, I am more able to look at my character and see where I could use personal growth. By giving up ultimately inconsequential objects, I can strive to become a better person. I endeavor to influence those around me in a more positive manner and feel more satisfied with my choices.
Many bad habits simply get swept under the rug. We ignore them because they are unpleasant to think about. Lent forces you to confront these issues and attempt to make amends. This is uncomfortable and difficult, especially when first looking at your faults. However, making better decisions, in the end, increases self-worth because you understand you are making the best possible choices.
Lent, though not many people’s favorite liturgical season, does have its benefits. It allows for introspection and improvement of character. The Lenten season will continue to be a part of my Easter tradition.