By Hannah Morais
For most holidays and events, both in and out of the Catholic faith, we receive things such as presents, food, candy, and cards. However, there is one season in the Church that asks us to give something up: Lent. Lent is a time to fast from things holding us back from an incredible relationship with God. It is also a time to add things to our daily routines that can help us grow in our faith. This being said, Lent can also feel like a burden, this year more than ever for many of us. Haven’t we all given up enough because of COVID-19? Why does God care if we give something up? Why do we have to give something up for a God who already has everything?
According to Father Mike Schmitz with Ascension Presents, when this is our mindset, it is best to realize that the only thing that God does not have is our hearts. Jesus gave up His life for us knowing fully what He was doing. Fully realizing that people would still sin and turn away from Him. He did all this for us in his infinite love, calling us to give up candy, Tik-Tok, complaining, and checking our phones every second of the day, all so that we could become closer to Him. Not only is this fasting a gift to the Lord, but it also helps us improve something in our own lives. When we have a part of our lives that we feel is neglected, like our prayer life, or even watching too much Netflix, praying about it helps us to identify our problems. Whenever we feel like giving up on what we promised to do for Lent, all we need to do is think of Jesus, his eyes solemn yet tender, arms outstretched saying, “Take up your cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
Edited by Ben Jungels