3 Reasons I Love Lent

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It gives me superpowers.

I have a confession to make.  I don’t love Lent.  It’s difficult and sacrificial and hungry and loooooooong.  I guess that makes the title of this post a little confusing.  Here’s the deal: all of those awful things about Lent are actually things I need to experience from time to time.  So even though I don’t “big-puffy-heart loooooove” Lent, I do love the spiritual fruits that come with it.

One of those fruits is the ability to do things that are normally waaaaaay outside my comfort range. I’ve always lacked willpower. I’ll start something with all the determination of a salmon swimming upstream but soon enough I’ll get washed back downriver. During Lent though, oh boy, watch out. I can do anything.  I’m not perfect, of course, and I always slip a little bit with whatever fast I’ve taken up or habit I’m trying to form, but I recover. I always do. It’s amazing what I can accomplish when it has nothing to do with me. It’s almost as if God gives me superpowers, as long as I promise to use them for good (i.e. His will and His glory).

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I’m a rebel.

It seems I’ve got something of a contrary nature. I don’t much like doing things the way I’m supposed to. So that’s why Lent is right up my alley.

Lent flies in the face of popular culture. Society says that anything that feels good, that’s easy, that comes quickly is good. It says: love is sex and cuddly feelings. It says: I’ve got to look out for number one.

Lent says differently. It says that sacrifice is the ultimate gift, that denying oneself is the ultimate sign of love. It is rich, dark, and deep where our society is saccharin, fluffy, and shallow. Lent says that death is a precursor to Life.  My rebel-self just loves to go against the grain like that.

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The End

The real reason I’m able to make it through Lent, year after year, is the end. Holy Week, and especially Good Friday (which- catechesis fail- my kids have been calling Black Friday) are such a profound experience. I can feel the weight of it now on my heart. The sorrow, the anguish, the repentance and ultimately, the forgiveness.  It’s almost too much for me to bear, and every year I spend the week in a near-constant state of tears.  But the heaviness falls under the category of “hurt-so-good,” because, hey: the Resurrection.

To paraphrase Fr. Robert Barron in the Catholicism DVD series: We persecuted Him, betrayed Him, tortured Him, nailed Him to a tree.  Yet He still loved us so much that He forgave us, saved us, and then He came back to give us hope.

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 P.S. If you’d like to know a little more about what I’m working towards this Lent, you can read my article on A Peaceful Heart over at Catholic Exchange.

P.P.S. If you use Instagram, consider joining Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings for the Lentsagram #HolyLens project, where there are photo prompts based on the day’s readings.  I’ll be posting as much as possible, because I love me some photography.

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Now it’s your turn. Share with me, in the comments or using the link tool below: What are your 3 reasons for loving Lent?

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Comments

  1. Love them all but especially number two. I tend to be the same way. I think some of that is getting lost when I hear recent interpretations of Lent and it’s important.
    Mary recently posted…On Having White Couches and A Houseful of BoysMy Profile

  2. I want some of those Lenten superpowers. I am so weak when it comes to Lent. Here we are only on day 3, and I already forgot my mornings prayers. Guess they are going to be afernoon prayers. 🙂
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…7 Ways to Make this Lent the Best EverMy Profile

  3. Thank you for hosting! Lent and I have a love/hate/love relationship! 😉
    Jess Fayette recently posted…Three Reasons I Love LentMy Profile

  4. Growing up Protestant, I knew very little about Lent. But now that I’m practicing it, I absolutely love it. But with all the Lent-drudgery abounding (not just here), I wonder if I’m missing something.

    But for whatever reason, that refiner’s fire is a balm to my soul. Like you, my will-power is usually nil, but during Lent, it’s rock-solid. I guess despite the sacrifices (coffee has been the most difficult! Ha!), it shows me that I CAN be a strong person if I want to be. It shines a light on the laziness of the rest of my life and gives me something to strive for the rest of the year.

    And as I partake in some of the practices that, admittedly I know very little about, I find peace and comfort knowing that hundreds of thousands of other believers are doing the very same things and praying to be more committed, more devoted, more like Christ just as I am.

    Lent is so unifying. We’re all in it together. That’s the best part.

  5. Oh! Loved #1 the best…no…#3….no!…#2….I actually think you wrote all three so well. Thanks for this, Micaela.
    Maia recently posted…7 Things you Probably Could Skip ReadingMy Profile

  6. I love your three reasons. Very well put. This year I’m going about it a tidge different than in previous years. Instead of the usual giving up sweets, coffee, nail biting, etc…. I offer each day up for a poor soul. While saying my prayers before bed, A name always pops into my head of someone I knew that has passed away. I offer my pains, sufferings, fasting, times when my patients are being tried with my 5 kids, and I pray and ask for their intercession throughout the day. I have read several books on Purgatory and asking for help from the poor souls is a great way to help them get to heaven sooner. Knowing they cannot pray for themselves, we need to pray for them and ask them to help us. Knowing that my self denial is being offered up for the soul of another, gives me the super powers to march forward throughout Lent.

  7. Perhaps the most realistic description of Lent ever – hungry! Thanks for hosting 🙂
    Annery recently posted…Three Reasons: Lent EditionMy Profile

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  1. […] is very very difficult for me.  Muy dificil.  I do not like, it, no I do not.  But since I complained about that in the 3 Reasons Lent Edition, I won’t expand upon it now.   Except to say that it’s not really my thing.  Like, […]