What am I giving for Lent?

(posted: March 1 2020)


This is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke;
sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Isaiah 58: 6, 7

No. The title isn’t a typo. It’s a reminder that, for Catholics Lent is more than just giving up something. There’s nothing wrong with the ‘give ups’, of course. Not indulging in something that gives me pleasure can remind me that Jesus gave so much more for me and for all humankind. But it seems rather childish to give up sweets for 40 days and then binge on Easter candy and desserts.

Perhaps I need to focus more on the positive. What can I give to God for all God has given to me? I live in a land of plenty, with a comfortable lifestyle. Nothing is denied to me and I seldom deny myself very much. But what do I do?

That was the question asked of Blessed Frederic and his companions by their non-believing fellow students. Paraphrasing they stated, ‘You Catholics talk a lot, but what do you actually do? Show us and perhaps we will believe.’

Also important is that, if I fail to do something today, my Lent isn’t a failure. Jesus told his followers to Take up your cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23) I can always begin again.

There’s an old saying: Actions speak louder than words. I think I will take it for my Lenten motto this year. What can I do? Here are ten suggestions. How many more can you think of?
  • Collect money during Lent and give it to someone in need during the Easter season.
  • Spend more time in prayer.
  • Participate in a day of reflection or a programme of study in my PC or in my parish.
  • Send messages of encouragement.
  • Visit a local nursing home or other place where visitors are scarce.
  • Read more scripture.
  • Slow down and spend a bit more time with my Home Visits.
  • Attend daily mass.
  • Learn more about our Society, its history, our founders and our saints.
  • Pray, pray and pray.
Have a happy and blessed Lent,

Spirituality Corner

Monthly Reflections
by Denise Bondy, Chair
ONRC Spirituality Committee