So, my last couple of Lents have been, lack luster, so to say. I mean I went through the motions and all that but have just had the sense that I could do more / better. A couple of weeks before Lent this year, I started praying and planning how I was going to make this the best lent, ever! I started planning. Of course, I would still give up my yummy coffee habit. I would only drink black coffee (because giving up coffee completely would not be fair to the rest of the world). But there had to be more. I would add some prayers, read Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly and abstain from my occasional beer. The train cars were getting loaded and we were about to leave the station.
Fat Tuesday comes and my wife suggests giving up electronics, especially phones and iPads. Add another car to the train. I boldly add that we should give up meat all together and not just on Friday. Boom add a large freight car to the train. I am so ready to drive my train all the way to a great Easter. The first few days are good and I am really getting into all of my sacrifices. But now my train is picking up speed and it is getting difficult to control. The sudden move to a vegetarian diet is wreaking havoc on me and my family. I don’t think I can do this. I keep praying. God, have I bitten off too much? Is this what will move my heart closer to you? I read Psalm 51:18-19
For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it;
a burnt offering you would not accept.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.
I imagine Jesus sitting right here beside me. he is saying, all of this sacrifice stuff, it is just that stuff. I want you. I want your heart. I love you and I want you to turn your heart to me and to love others as I have loved you. Then, this morning, I read chapter 11 in Rediscover Jesus in which Matthew Kelly says that Jesus calls to be generous as He is generous. Jesus died on the cross for us. That is pretty generous, yikes! So, I see a new direction for my Lenten journey. I need to be purposely generous in a way that shows the love of Christ. A big call to be sure. Can’t I just go back to giving up chocolate? No, not really. I pray that with the help of Jesus I might find the courage to generous to a fault. To give without thinking the cost.