For many Filipinos, Ash Wednesday, which Catholics will celebrate tomorrow, March 9, will signify the beginning of forty days of reflection, prayer, sacrifice and good works. Here contributor and Catholic family renewal advocate Tina Santiago-Rodriguez suggests five meaningful things Christians can do during the season of Lent.
Lent is one of the most important seasons, not only in the Catholic liturgical year, but in the lives of Christians everywhere. In fact, for most Catholics, it is considered even more important than Advent. It is a time when many people take time to reflect on the Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Usually, Lent is considered as a time of deep prayer and repentance, making small and big sacrifices especially in the form of fasting and abstinence, and doing acts of charity.
Whatever faith you conform to, the break from work and school which is observed during the Lenten period can be a perfect opportunity to better yourself and share a more meaningful and memorable time with your family:
1. Give something up. The usual tradition during Lent is to practice fasting and abstinence. Basically, it is all about giving up something that gives one satisfaction or pleasure for a higher purpose. To make it simpler, remember to have everything in “simpler and smaller portions.” While this would commonly apply to food, there are other things that we could fast on and abstain from, and along the way pick up some lessons on self-control and discipline:
• Smoking – It is detrimental to your health, anyway. And think about how much money you could save if you weren’t lighting up! You could put the money instead into a money-making vehicle such as a mutual fund, or better yet, donate it to a charitable institution like ANCOP, Grace To Be Born or Gawad Kalinga.
• Eating junk food and sweets, drinking soda or gourmet coffee – Your waist and hips will thank you for this sacrifice! You will also be less prone to diabetes, kidney stone formation and obesity, among other things. You will most probably end up spiritually and physically fit after forty days of giving these up. Again, this would also translate to more savings.
Click here to see more things to you can do this Lenten season.