LIFT Links: Lenten Edition

Ash Wednesday is this week, marking the beginning of Lent, the penitential season that prepares us for the joy of Christ’s Resurrection at Easter. Too often we treat Lent like a do-over for our New Year’s resolutions or a chance to jumpstart our diet before swimsuit season. But Lent isn’t meant to be about loss–we fast to gain, to grow spiritually.

To that end, this week let’s look at few links on what Lent’s really about, and how to live it as a family.

One last thing: every year, people ask about “taking Sundays off” from your Lenten sacrifices. Some people insist that since Sundays are a feast day and not counted in the “40 days of Lent,” your sacrifices don’t apply to Sundays. Others say that a person out to be able to make it through the entire Lenten season, Sundays and all, without “stumbling” or “giving in.”

It is true that Sundays aren’t meant for fasting and aren’t counted among the 40 days of Lent. It may also be true that if you absolutely cannot abstain from whatever-it-is for the full Lenten season, you could be overly attached to it. My advice to my own family: decide now which you are going to observe and stick to it. If you think it would be a good disciple for you to go beerless or chocolate-free on Sundays, too, I don’t have a problem with that. Just remember that Sunday is a feast day and find ways to treat it as such. But whatever you do, don’t decide that a different day is going to be your “day off”– it’s not a day off; it’s the Lord’s Day, which makes it special — and don’t decide two weeks into Lent that maybe you could have a little just…this…once. That’s a slippery slope that quickly slides from Sundays into other days, too!

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