April 6, 2011
These forty days are a journey as we follow the steps of Jesus. From the symbolism of the 40 days in the desert, we can become more aware of our spiritual selves by simplifying our lives. As there were no comforts in the desert, the call of the Church for fasting, abstinence and almsgiving provides the means to focus on our inner lives.
The tradition of “Giving up something for Lent,” must have more meaning than just choosing to avoid ice-cream for 40 days. It can become an exercise in spiritual discipline, turning our longing for chocolate fudge sundaes into awareness of our own longing for Christ. It can be a new beginning, akin to New Year’s resolutions, reforming our old ways for new, holier ones. When seen in that light, we can begin to imagine acts of abstinence that are more fitting to the symbolism of our spiritual growth.