So here we are, the first week of Lent. A time of penance, fasting, and alms giving. A time to reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ willingly died to save all of our souls.
I still have a hard time grasping that idea. I've spent so many years thinking that Christianity was all myths and symbols, but now I've seen the light of truth. Jesus was a real man, who was put on a cross by real people and died a real death for all of us and our sins.
This is my first Lent as a true believer in Christ. At the end of this season, I get to be confirmed and join the Catholic Church as a full member. I am just so in awe of what the Lenten season is leading up to: Easter…the death and resurrection of our Savior.
I've always known that people give something up for Lent. The people I knew would often give up sweets or coffee, but they would often just replace it with something else (more fruit to get the same sugar rush, replacing coffee with tea, and the like) which to me didn't make much sense. I barely understood why people gave things up for Lent in the first place, but it seemed really off to me that you could "give X up" yet replace it with Y.
My RCIA class has taught me that for Lent you are suppose to do penance, fast, and give alms. I'm doing my best to follow the Church's teachings, especially in this season. The fasting was hard for me, since I'm typically the kind of person who needs to eat something every few hours (I have blood sugar issues) but I managed to do it. It feels right to do a proper penance in honor of my Lord, who has done so much for me.
That's the same reason that for my penance for Lent, I plan to go to mass every single day. I feel it's right to do something that is not easy for me (like giving up chocolate or sweets might be). You see, with my class and work schedule, I will have to attend the 7am mass at my church because none of the other masses work for me. Having to get up that early and walk out in the cold to get to church will be a challenge for me (I am so not a morning person) but I will gladly do it in honor of Jesus's death on my behalf.
I look forward to using this season to prepare my soul for my confirmation, the fulfillment of my joining the body of the Lord's Church. I plan to reflect on my past sins and look forward to my new future in the light of God's eternal love.
What are you doing for Lent? Do you plan on fasting? Or will you do some sort of penance? I would love to hear how you all are preparing for the coming celebration of Christ's death and resurrection.