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Hello everyone! I hope the first few days of not hitting the snooze button and no chocolate have been treating you all well. With 38 gloomy days of Lent ahead, I figured I’d share some thoughts about this highly misunderstood season within our Church. Last Friday, Ana explained a little bit about the reality of fasting as a community and I’d like to expound a little!

A friend of mine recently had an interesting thought. While thinking about the end of our lives, he said that God will (out of His immense respect for the freedom with which He gave us) ultimately give us what we truly loved most in our lives. If we love Him most, He will give us Himself for eternity (Heaven) and if we love anything else more than Him, He will give us exactly that for eternity. The first time I heard it I thought, “Well an eternity of parties, friends, pleasure, wealth, and power doesn’t sound too awful!” Here’s the thing though….We have INFINITE desires and even if the things I mentioned above were to last for eternity, the feelings themselves could always just a little better; the power could always be just a little more vast, the parties could always be just a little more fun, and the wealth could always be just a little greater. In all of these cases, we seem to love ourself more than God. The ONLY thing that can satisfy our infinite desires is a loving relationship with He who is infinite. I think this is what St. Augustine meant when he said that “Our hearts are restless, oh Lord, until they rest in Thee.” (Keep in mind St. Augustine was a party animal, loving the booze, the power, and the women. You can’t say he didn’t understand)

So what does this have to do with the season of Lent? Well the Church, in her wisdom, knows we are a bunch of crazy sinners….and while this loving relationship with God which can fulfill our deepest and most infinite desires sounds great, we are broken, we are tempted, and we love things more than God every day of our lives. We are so broken that we even have sinful habits where we love ourselves more than God several times a day, week, or month. While some people think the Catholic Church is judgmental, Her ultimate goal is to teach us how to essentially fiIl the deep and infinite desire we have to be fulfilled by that which is infinite! I find it quite interesting that it takes 40 days to break a habit, and this is exactly how long Lent lasts1 Furthermore, it takes 20 days to start a habit.

If you take all of this into account, it seems that Lent can be a great way for us to prepare our hearts to receive Christ at Easter in a deeper and more tangible way. USE THIS TIME! Think of some of the habits you have where you love yourself (or something else) more than you love God, and think of good habits you want to build! Since it takes 40 days to break and 20 days to build a habit, think of one thing you should rid your life of (usually sinful habits) and think of 2 good habits you want to begin (a few minutes a day in prayer, a few minutes of Scripture reading, daily mass, and bible studies are a few examples). Viewed in this light, Lent can and SHOULD be used to reorient our lives to that which will make us happiest. So this Lent, don’t just give little things up because it’s Lent. Rather, change what it is your heart loves most!​
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