Thursday, February 11, 2016

Build HABITS instead of making sacrifices this LENT!

Yesterday, marked Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. It's an important tradition for Catholics, but also a process that is adopted across many faiths. In Christianity, lent is technically defined as a time of fasting and repentance in the spring, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending several weeks later on Easter. The process marks 40 days of sacrifice to correspond with the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, per the bible.

Every year folks commonly give "something up" throughout lent. As my friend's pastor put it, "give up meats, sweets, and alcoholic treats!" For many years, I was all about common "sacrifices" such as no use of social media, no soda, or nailbitting. However, in recent years, I've taken these 40 days to build a new habit instead of taking something out of my life.

Pope Francis recently encouraged that individuals give up "indifference towards others." The idea here was also less about actually giving something up and more about building in you something new. Last lent I made sure we never missed a Sunday mass and this year I'll do the same. I will also keep a gratitude journal and work on stating daily affirmations with my children. 

This plan is less about giving up and more about building a positive habit that stays with me far longer than 40 days. It's about taking this time to reflect and transform. I am grateful to be Catholic and uphold this tradition, but I am even more grateful to become a better human being in the process!

What's your 'habit-forming' or 'sacrificial' plan for lent?

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