Saturday, March 8, 2014

It's that time of year again... (or maybe not!)


Struggling to find a Lenten resolution? Here's my advice: First and foremost, pray about it. Don't fall into the trap of the one-size-fits-all Christianity. And please, don’t Google Lenten solutions. Lent is not about sacrificing things. Lent is about love. Plain and simple. And authentic love is freely given and freely received. That being said, to truly love we must be freed from all that enslaves us. That is where Lent comes in. It’s a season centered on diving more deeply into a relationship with God through a process of self-denial. It's about removing the excess in our lives that enslaves instead of liberates us in order to be truly free and fully experience God’s love.

So, now for the big question: what to do for Lent? First, pray about what is keeping you from an intimate relationship with Jesus. For me, I am giving up working out (and trust me, this will be incredibly difficult). Why? Because vanity is one thing I struggle with. Instead of finding my identity as a beloved son of my Father, I am tempted to find it in physical appearance. So, I know vanity is something I struggle with and I am giving up working out for lent. And during the time I would have been working out, I will pray a daily rosary for my future wife, because let's be honest: the temptation for vanity is deeply rooted in our sexuality and our desire to please others. So, I pray for our purity of mind and body and solid identity as children of God. This is what I feel called to this Lenten season.

How about you? What is keeping you from God? From a more fulfilling, enriching experience of life? If it is chastity that you struggle with, try fasting. It’s a great way to practice self-control. If it’s an inability to find peace in your heart, sit in silence for thirty minutes a day. Do nothing, not even actively pray. Sit and listen. Girls, if you struggle insecurity and vanity, try giving up make-up. Guys, if it’s lust, put a small rock in your shoe as a constant reminder not to let those eyes wander. Find what is holding you back, and use that to come up with a Lenten solution.

Andrew Barenz is currently studying abroad in Switzerland. This post is borrowed (with permission) from his blog of his time abroad, which can be found at

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