The late Fulton Sheen once wrote: “We can think of Lent as a time to eradicate evil or cultivate virtue, a time to pull up weeds or plant good seeds. Which is better is clear — for the Christian ideal is always positive rather than negative.”
I have long believed this to be true. When individuals ask about giving up things for Lent I automatically think of giving up as a negative. I also wonder what good it does if it is only a temporary suspension of something. I try to encourage myself as well as others to take up, to start something new that could become a habit that in some way brings you closer to God. I have often told my congregation that if I give up chocolate for Lent all I will think about is chocolate and not Jesus. That’s hardly helpful, at least for me.
There are many possibilities that present themselves that might be more helpful. If you currently do not pray before meals, give that a try. It could be a well known simple prayer like: God is good and God is great; and we thank him for this food. Amen.” But equally fine is to just say: “Thank you, Jesus” as you take a moment to consider that not everyone is blessed with a daily meal much less two or three. If you haven’t been good about reading scripture try reading one or two verses a day. Whatever you do, make it manageable. The goal is to gain some benefit, it is not a punishment but an opportunity to connect with your Lord.
Blessings on your Lent