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Scott P. Richert

What Are You Giving Up for Lent?

By February 6, 2013

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What are you giving up for Lent?lighthouse, scott p. richert It's a question to which we're often tempted to answer, "None of your business!" And rightly so, because "What are you giving up for Lent?" can be prying at best, rude at worst, and sometimes it really has no purpose other than allowing the other person to brag about his more demanding Lenten sacrifice.

But it doesn't have to be that way. As I wrote in "(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Jacob's Ladder":

Christ is the only way to salvation, but our fellow Christians are the girders that help us see Jacob's Ladder for what it is: the strong and sure path to Heaven.

We're all in this together; we don't have to—and shouldn't—bear our spiritual struggles alone. And so, as we're trying to figure out our own Lenten discipline while waiting for Lent 2013 to begin, "What are you giving up for Lent?" can be a legitimate question. But at the same time, it can be a hard one to ask, since others can take it wrongly.

So let's make it easier for all concerned. If you choose, you can share your Lenten sacrifice in What Are You Giving Up for Lent 2013? Doing so can help others decide on their own Lenten sacrifices, and seeing your own resolution on the screen may help you stick to it.

(Scaffolding for a range light on Lake Michigan; photo © Scott P. Richert)

What Readers Gave Up for Lent in Previous Years:

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Comments
March 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm
(1) karyn says:

I try to give up something and add something. So I’m giving up sugar and I’m adding the wearing of the Brown Scapular and the reading of the Little Office. I try to pick things that I hope will become habits for a lifetime. God’s Grace to everyone celebrating Lent.

March 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm
(2) Richard says:

Am trying to see if i can go to weekday mass at least two times in a week.

March 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm
(3) Terry says:

Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

When my children were little we never had them tell what they were giving up for Lent. We told them it was between them and their gaurdian angel.

March 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm
(4) Scott P. Richert says:

Terry, I wonder if you read the entire post. The point in sharing your sacrifice here is not “to be praised by men,” but to help others who are uncertain what they should give up to come up with ideas.

I don’t ask my children what they are giving up for Lent, either. But if they choose to share that information, I do my best to help them stick to their Lenten sacrifice.

March 15, 2011 at 1:47 am
(5) Mary42 says:

I humbly beg you, Terry, to be more charitable. What would you say we do in our weekly Small Christian Communities gatherings, or when we attend the weekly Cenacle of the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy, when where we share our experiences?? Bragging or trying to appear Holier than others??? Oh, NO, NO. We are building one another and strengthening one another as we walk together in our Spiritual journey as we climb Jacob’s Ladder to our Eternal Home. Mr. Richert’s response to you should spur you to ponder anew on your opinions about our sharing what each one is planning to give up as a Faith-building Sacrifice during the Lenten Season as we prepare for the Greatest Feast in the Catholic Church – the Mystery of Our Redemption which was begun with Angel Gabriel’s Message to Holy Mary, Mother of God.

To my beloved brothers and sisters on this Journey of Salvation, I shall include the Morning and Evening Divine Office Prayers to the Night Prayers which I have been praying during the other Seasons of the Liturgical Year.

February 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm
(6) dee says:

last year as a family we cut down on our weekly food budget and lived moer on stock in the freezer and pantry and sent the money we saved to a charity called Mary’s Meals which feeds a child for approximatey 10 per year. Our tiny sacrifice meant more to us because it made us appreciate more the freedom we have to eat as we choose. Interestingly my husband who is not a Catholic has suggested that we cut out meat totally this lent as he wants to do something that we can do as a family, whatever we save will again go to Mary’s Meals.

February 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm
(7) Karen says:

I usually do the typical sacrifice of some favorite food but decided to do something different this year. I am giving up sleep; in that I am going to get up earlier and go to daily mass prior to going to work. It will be a challenge, but I believe a worthy one. I do like the idea of taking the money saved by giving up a food item and giving it to a charity. Wonderful.

February 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm
(8) Bobby says:

To me, is think of Jesus giving of his life and giving us life, not giving up, so I approach it the same way. More prayer, meditation, charitable works (alms), and less about cutting out chocolate. Of course, we should be less indulgent of some of life’s pleasures during lent as a commitment of our faith and fasting is so powerful and cleansing.

To me, lent is the time to “reset the soul”, getting back to the more important and basic elements that make us who we are, simplifying and humbling ourselves, then preparing as we explode with joy at Easter.

February 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm
(9) tina says:

I am a sucker for baked goods and eat them daily. I will give them up for Lent, relying on God’s graces to succeed. I am lazy about daily prayer, so I will make time to pray morning, noon, and night, including daily Rosary. Again, I will rely on God. I will pray that He help each of you (us) keep our resolutions. God bless.

February 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm
(10) Gatomon41 says:

In general, I tend to avoid snacking, sweets, and too much inernet during Lent. This one for me is to remind myself of the important things in life. To find out what I don’t need and what I really need.

But that’s what I do every year.

Specifically, I’m going to try to avoid what causes me to lust and become wrathful. I won’t go into details, but these two vices are the ones that afflict me the worse. It’s time to end that which causes me to give into these sins.

February 22, 2012 at 3:44 am
(11) Rosemary N. Anamanya says:

I relly on God grace to attend mass twice a week and be charitable and say my rosary daily and lastly less talk and full medictation on the Word of God.

February 23, 2012 at 11:07 am
(12) Samer Forzley says:
February 7, 2013 at 7:45 am
(13) Erin Pascal says:

Thank you for this beautiful reminder! Giving up something during the lenten season has helped a lot in my spiritual renewal. But I believe this is best done with fasting, praying together and reading the Bible.

February 7, 2013 at 7:25 pm
(14) Kirt Higdon says:

Booze – also pastry treats at RCIA meetings.

February 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm
(15) Beth says:

We choose something as a family so we can make the journey together. This year we choose pizza as we have it often & it’s our son’s favorite food. He actually suggested it.

February 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm
(16) cathy says:

I want to choose something different each week . Like one week being nice to everyone reguardless. Keeping all comments to myself. No interrupting when others talk. Just being the supernicest person I can be. Week 2 I think I will bake cookies and take them to the homeless shelter and say the rosary everyday. I will have to continue to think of something new each week.

February 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm
(17) David says:

Last year I gave up swearing. My wife went along with me and we have kept it up ever since. Well, except when I hit my thumb with a hammer. I’m still struggling with that.
This year I would like to add something I don’t do often but should. After reading all of the posts I think I’ll add reading scripture once a day and try to be more patient with people.
Thanks to everyone with the great suggestions.

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