Today marks the beginning of Lent for 2011. Ash Wednesday has always been a favorite mass of mine. The solemnity associated with the mass helps me reflect about what Lent is truly about and what my focus should be on.
In the past, I have always given up some kind of food such as Diet Coke, chocolate, fried food, etc. I feel as though giving up those things was done more out of selfishness than me trying to better myself spiritually and morally. This year I have decided to do something different not just because of the selfishness factor, but also because I have been able to successfully maintain healthy eating habits for the past couple weeks so I feel as though giving up bad food would be a cop-out.
This year, I have decided to give up gossiping. The main reason behind this is because I have more recently started to feel uncomfortable with the gossip that surrounds me; more specifically negative gossip that I feel can be hurtful. I just don't want to surround myself with that kind of negativity. If I am able to separate myself from it, I think I will be a more positive person and an overall better person because of it. I am confident there will be some slip-ups and I think that is alright, as long as I recognize it and try to correct it.
In addition to giving up gossiping, I am also trying to find something that Adam and I can do together to celebrate the season. Since Adam , is in the process of becoming Catholic, I think it would be nice to work with him on learning to pray the rosary. It would be a good refresher for me and something that could be habit, post-lent, for us to do.
Lastly, it is time for me to go to confession. A lot of people who are not Catholic do not understand the importance/reasoning behind confession, and I don't blame you. From day 1 when I did my first reconciliation, I had a hard time understanding the purpose behind it and still do but always had a sense of relief after I had done it. It wasn't until I was in college that I started to feel uncomfortable going to confession. So, I haven't been in several years but it is time this year to start going again. Since Adam will be making his first confession during this year's Lent, it is time that I get back in the habit of doing it as well.
For more information on Lent and the Easter Season, I would recommend checking out this site: http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/. Keep in mind this is the Catholic church's stand on Lent and Easter and I do recognize that other forms of Christianity celebrate/recognize this season as well.
What have you decided to do for Lent? Do you and your family have special tradition in recognition of Lent?