I'm Catholic. Although I struggle sometimes with the teachings of the Church, I still feel Catholic. It's a comfort to me and I think religion should bring one comfort. So Lent starts this week. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and I don't know that I'll get to Mass because it's the day Pete has surgery. The day will not go unobserved though.
I'm struggling with what I should give up for Lent. We give something up in Lent to learn self control and discipline, to identify with Jesus' sufferings and as an act of sorrow for all our sins.
About 6 years ago I gave up fast food for Lent. I was spending too much time in drive-throughs for lunches and dinners. I LOVED Burger King's onions rings, Taco Bell's gorditas and McDonald's cheeseburgers. I did allow myself what they call 'casual fast food' - Chipolte and Panera. To this day I don't like fast food and it no longer likes me. I feel really awful if I eat it.
Last year I gave up soda. Man was that hard. It's not that I bought it for home, but at work or our with friends or with my family - I drank soda. Dr. Pepper to be exact. The first couple of months were hard. I never craved the soda, but I craved the carbonation. The bubbly feeling in my mouth and down my throat. I tried carbonated waters, but they weren't the same and I gave up on the carbonation. Now I have a soda occasionally - usually just when Pete and I go to the movies. The sweetness is overpowering and the carbonation makes me feel bloated for a couple of hours. Again, I feel yucky after drinking it.
This year? Instead of giving up something, I think I may way to commit to something. It serves the same purpose - learning self control by following the commitment, remembering his sufferings by following through (no matter the cost) and the sorrow? Well, leaving behind the old is sorrowful.
I think my commitment for Lent is to be meatless on Fridays and Tuesdays and commit to the gym 6 days a week.