Some thoughts I wanted to share…
After noticing that “Lent” is currently a trending topic on Twitter, I wanted to see what the world thought about the season we have now entered. Over and over and over again I saw the same things:
I will give up soda.
I will give up Facebook.
I will give up the internet.
I will give up chocolate.
I will work out.
Hold up… what?
Those are only a few out of the millions of things people are tweeting about as I type. What gets me thinking now is, why are they giving these things up? What are they going to benefit from them? Kudos to you if you’re giving up soda because it’s ALL you drink, but how will that help you? Maybe it’ll help you health-wise, but how about your soul? Matt Maher said it perfectly this morning: “Dig deeper.” Ok, so others are giving up Facebook and/or Twitter, which I commend. But in that time when you normally would be on either of the two sites, are you praying? Are you focusing on schoolwork (which in turn is glorifying God, too, because education is a blessing)? Are we really getting the reason of WHY we’re doing WHAT we’re doing?
Prior to Mass today, I went to Confession. One piece of advice that my confessor told me was to stay under the influence of the Holy Spirit and not of the world. And afterwards during Mass, the priest quoted in his Homily T.S. Eliot (which echoed in my mind for the entire night): “The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.”
Now to follow up those two points…
You see, the world is BEAUTIFUL. GOD created it. But the sinful nature of the people in it have wounded it greatly. Before the lecture in my Theology class last night, I honestly had thoughts of disdain for the world. Often times I had a “forget the world” kind of mentality. What hit me was my professor saying “the world is wounded, but a wounded one with hopeful possibilities of the world to come.” (We were actually having a discussion about the small community/church in Corinth and how they still committed sins after Paul’s teachings in his letters.) Paul regarded the Corinthians as flesh. Bodies. We were dust in the beginning and we will be dust in the end. And so with that said, we’re not just gonna waste our lives away, are we? No! We need to repent and return to God. We need to believe in the Gospel. St. Paul didn’t give up on the Corinthians. In fact, he had faith in them and continued encouraging them. I refuse to give up on the world and I have faith, too. I want to help encourage you. The world needs to be healed.
We’re fasting and taking up things not only because we want to strengthen our relationship with God or stay reflective on what’s to come (The Triduum), but because we’re fasting and taking up things so that we may allow our souls to flow in the right direction, under the influence of the Holy Spirit. How awesome is it that we are given this opportunity during Lent to do so?! We should enter into the Lenten Season mindful of our salvation and our desire to be in Heaven with God. That should be our reason. Don’t make the fact that you’ll look “better” as your reason. Don’t think that you’re giving up the internet because your grades will improve. Those aren’t necessarily bad things, but those aren’t the right reasons in this particular season. I recommend doing that in another season. Finally, when we have that mindset of the “right deed”, the right REASON, the hopeful possibilities of the world to come can bring so much joy and happiness into our lives.
To finish this off, not all tweets were insensible. I concluded my Lent-trending-topic-searching after coming across this:
Why quit things for 40 days when you could quit them for life.
AMEN. Let’s quit sin for life. And when you’ve fallen into sin (which you will, we’re human), go to Confession and quit sin again. Repeat that until you get to Heaven. =) I have hope for the world and better hopes for the world to come. God bless your Lenten Season. May it be a fruitful journey.
[DISCLAIMER: I’m really sorry this is all over the place. I just had so many thoughts running through my head and this was the best and fastest way possible for me to organize it in a timely manner. Also, the fasts I’ve included in this post are general ones that many people seem to be doing. I promise I’m not singling anyone out.]
I’m trusting in God, and striving. thank you.
amen. i’m stealing this entry. ;)
I don’t think it’s fair to call a person’s sacrifice insensible. Whatever kind of relationship a person has with God, whether good or bad; acknowledging this holy season with self-denial is commendable.
I understand where you’re coming from with people needing to “Dig deeper” in their sacrifices but look at it with a more optimistic view. By fasting, we learn to control a particular part of our lives. Which can lead to greater self-discipline when Lent is over. For those who don’t have a solid foundation with God, this is definitely a step in the right direction.
I agree with all your points though and everyone should reference this post as a reminder to be mindful to Him, but give some credit to those of us in the world. We’re trying! God bless!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kashmir! Just to clarify a few things, if one were to look up what people are saying on Twitter, I think it is pretty fair to deem some “fasts” as insensible; one out of maybe 50 people would be “fasting” things for inappropriate reasons making obvious their attitude towards Lent, or fasting because everyone’s doing it. It’s sad to see how society is shaping Lent to be some sort of worldly culture (just like Christmas, unfortunately) rather than one of great spiritual meaning.
Also, I wasn’t trying to imply that those fasts listed are insensible. It was my own take on trying to encourage people to do more, realizing they are capable; that Lent is not a self-help program, but where one can turn to God. With that, why can’t they go the extra mile? In the end of the post, the insensibilities I was referring to dealt with what I just explained in the paragraph above. Maybe the people with insensible fasts aren’t religious or didn’t grow up religious? Maybe they don’t believe in God and wanted to “join in” on the fasting without paying proper respect to those who do take this seriously? Whatever reason it may be, we have a lot of praying to do.
I apologize for not making that as clear. Like I said, my thoughts were really all over the place. But I do really appreciate what you had to say and I hope this somewhat clears any misunderstandings. Also, thank you for speaking on behalf of the world. :) I know there are so many people trying, I really do. Praise God for them! But even Jesus stayed with the lowest of people because He knew they were the ones who needed help. I suppose this was just my little way to help wake up those who are falling asleep.
God bless you and your Lenten Season, Kashmir!
I appreciate you correcting yourself! And I agree. It is sad on how society has come to recognize Lent, but I do think things are improving. Baby steps is what it is, and that all goes back to prayer.
Love it, Fatima!!! I’m totally using this for PSR Wednesday!