For years, I have felt so proud to not be Catholic at this time of year. Watching friends “give up” something and eat fish on Fridays, I would dismiss it, thinking, “Jesus sacrificed his life for my sins, and he wants my whole life, not just a measly 40 days. So I don’t need to do that silly Lent thing!”
Last year, I read a very short blog post by Beverly Ross (y’all know this is Jenny Biz’s mom), and it got me thinking a little. Here is a link to her thoughts on Lent. Why not use the 40 days of Lent to do something special to better my relationship with God? I know we should sacrifice 365 days a year, but what’s wrong with putting an extra bit of focus right before Easter?
Dee’s family is Catholic, and when we spend Easter with them, we attend services together. Last Easter, I was completely moved by the “Renewal of Baptism” that the priest led us through. He spoke about the importance of moving past the 40 days of Lent with a new strength and commitment in our faith. Then, he asked the following series of questions, and the congregation replied "I do" to each question.
"Do you reject Satan?
And all his works?
And all his empty promises?
Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy (Catholic) church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever."
Wow! I felt like those were such powerful promises to make that day. I, personally, leave out the word Catholic when I apply this to myself (since I’m not Catholic—duh ☺), but other than that, I think these renewal vows are something any Christian could say “I do” to. Obviously, I found it meaningful because I kept the copy of the words to refer to throughout the year.
So between Beverly’s quick thought that she posted last year and seeing for myself the expectation that Lent leads you to renew your comittment to God, I made the decision to try out the sacrifice for 2010. I am running out of time (and writing too much), so I will have to post more about what I decided to give up later.
By the way, I am writing about Lent to help keep me accountable! I soooooo wanted to give up this morning, but I didn’t ☺