Lent is coming. To be honest, my usual response to that thought is one of clutching inside. I suspect that is not the best response, and every year I keep working at coming to more of an understanding of what perhaps God’s mind is on this season rather than my limited understanding or skewed understanding. I, like most Catholics who grew up when I did, tend to approach Lent, I think, from the angle of what I need to give up for Lent. What I become convinced of more and more each year is that God’s priority for Lent is not that. His priority is that we grow in our relationship with Him. Period. The only things worth giving up are those that impede our relationship with Him. Read this by Fr. Peter John Cameron to start you thinking about perhaps a different Lenten approach:
Here’s what to give up this Lent: the doubt that goes, “I can never get closer to God because I’m too sinful, too flawed, too weak.” This is a lethal attitude, for it based on the false presumption that we can possess something of our own–that does not come from God–by which we can please God. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Only what is from God can please God. But as long as such error persists, we estrange ourselves from God. Lent is not about lamenting our inadequacy. Rather, it is a graced moment to receive from God what he is eager to give us so that we can live the friendship with him that he desires. . . .