The newspaper reported that Catholics are in a Lenten quandary this year. Catholics are supposed to give up meat on the Fridays of Lent, and eat fish instead. And, Irish Catholics love corned-beef on St. Patrick's Day, which this year falls on a Friday. So, Omaha Archbishop George Lucas is granting dispensation, allowing Catholics in the archdiocese to eat meat on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, but they better abstain from meat the next day.
It gave me pause, when I read this. Since I'm not Catholic, I don't understand the underlying spirituality around eating fish instead of meat during Lent. However, it was a reminder to me that Lent is a time of self-reflection, and sacrifice, and turning back to God.
Lots of people talk about what they are giving up for Lent. One friend, realizing that she has nearly become addicted to Words with Friends, has decided to give up the game during Lent. She is a deeply spiritual person, so I believe that this is a spiritual discipline for her, a way of connecting back to God.
She gave me something to think about. I, too, play Words with Friends, and it is a way that I am connected to two of my favorite brothers. And, I realized that when I play games on my phone, I'm procrastinating about something else. So, I deleted two other games from my phone, and actually, haven't missed them.
This has caused me to think about looking beneath what we give up, to what really needs giving up. Obviously, I need to give up "working to deadline," my euphemism for procrastination. Maybe I need to give up anxiety, and put a renewed trust in God. Or, do I need to give up feeling like there is no purpose in life, and turn back to seeking God's purpose for my life. I could probably give up things like judgment, criticism, half-truths, and regrets for Lent, and seek out God's acceptance, love, truth and blessings. All this calls for me to get on my knees and pray.
In the mean time, thank you to our Catholic brothers and sisters for calling us into faithful Lenten practices.