–For Lent this year, I am giving up social media. I will attempt to update at least this blog on Sundays, when I can break fast.–
I often approach the subject of Lent by referring readers to other articles by people smarter and better read than me. I think it’s good because I don’t want to waste everyone’s time in writing what others have already written, and not doing as good a job. But this year, I thought maybe I could help you (if not fall in love with than at least) understand better the Lenten Season and the draw of Catholic rites.
So here are a few reasons (in no particular order) I’m doing something different with my next 40 (ish)* days.
1. I like traditions and time set aside for anything. I like easter peeps and fall pumpkin spice lattes and sno cone season at sno beach. Lent only happens once a year.
2. I think fasting is an important discipline in the Christian walk.
3. Mass. It is peaceful and reverent and unbeknownst to most, I am actually a BIG fan of reverence. Attending and participating in Mass calms and quiets my soul. (I attend Mass on Ash Wednesday and whatever other times during the season I can)
4. Participating in ANYTHING with a host of other believers is special. The Body of Christ (the church) should be unified in love and I feel and appreciate that unity especially during Lent.
5. It’s a GREAT way to evengelize. When people ask me why, during the next 6.5 weeks, I’m not using social media, I get to talk about my Jesus!
6. Because I like to party. You CELEBRATE the Lenten season, folks. It’s exciting for me.
7. I’m not by nature a disciplined person. I’m a bit impulsive. Practicing this thing I’m bad at gives God more of an opportunity to show Himself off in my life.
8. 40* days without something helps me know it’s real place in my life, rather than the perceived value i place on it.
9. Truly, I like a challenge. The best ones are the ones I have NO CHANCE at maintaining without Him.
10. Why not? 😉
The last two years i have celebrated Lent have been low-yield, which makes sense because I was low-commitment. I cannot even REMEMBER what I did, but I know I didn’t do it well. But in other years, and this year I think, it is a sweet time of pouring into my relationship with God. And let me tell you, I am so glad for it. I’ve already been backing away from twitter, blogging less, and trying NOT to spend time uselessly perusing facebook. Because I’m in a rough patch with God. I’m hearing lies at every corner and I’m believing them. I’m believing them because I’m not feeding myself enough TRUTH, enough Gospel. Then believing the lies (that I’m a failure, that I am not loved, stupid irrelevant things) hurts my relationship with God and makes it harder for me to spend time with Him.
I laid in bed for TWO HOURS this morning (i woke early) just TRYING to talk to God. I finally broke the ice with the Our Father (remix Ritz style) and was able to get up. But … our relationship just is not the lush garden it once was. So I’m excited about Lent because I’m excited about pouring out me and getting filled up with Him in this new way. It’s not the only way, but it’s certainly not a wrong one.
*Ash Wednesday- Easter Sunday is actually 46 days. This is because in traditional Lenten celebrations, fasting ends each Sunday as the saints celebrate together in worship. If you’d like to participate in Lent this year, it starts tomorrow. If you start late, don’t stress it. 🙂
And if you need to communicate w me during Lent, you can find me at ritz(dot)valle(at)austinstone(dot)org