Lent: It's not about chocolate!
It is customary to 'give up' something each Lent. I have long had a different practice. I take on a new attitude and try to make the most of it during Lent. Sometimes the behavior becomes natural and I keep it in my life and other times it has helped me to uncover other things about myself in need of spiritual attention. Yes, there have been times I dropped the ball and not kept the practice going all through Lent. I know God has forgiven me, today I forgive me and I move on.
From today I choose to celebrate the gift of that grace in my daily life and actions during the Lenten Season - including giving alms personally, with love and caring; not impersonal donations to this pantry or that poor box. I remember a homeless man who panhandled on a street corner in the Bronx. When I gave him a few dollars and met his eyes (instead of dropping my sight to avoid eye contact), I could see Christ in his face. It is too easy to make a donation and let other people complete the act. If I am disconnected from the act, I will not see God in the face of the other person.
What is the point of 'giving something up' if we are just counting down to Easter so we can have it again? What is the point of giving up the food and losing weight if I am counting down the pounds to the day when I can eat X again. If I cannot eat it today I will not be eating it 40 pounds from now - not if I want to keep those pounds off.
For this food addict, there isn't another way.