It's that time of year when Catholics everywhere start wondering what they can give up or take on for Lent.
Lent is almost like the New Year for Catholics. The time to make new resolutions and grow closer to God. The time to weed out bad habits and form new, good ones,
I don't like it.
My melancholic side feels like life is one big Lent. Especially the last few months. We've been in Lent for awhile. The waiting. The suffering. Life has been difficult. So adding on even more penance seems unfathomable.
That said..that's not really an excuse to just do nothing. I mean..I could certainly stand to be a better person. And, I really should pray more. I'm back on speaking terms with God now..but for awhile I wasn't. I still need to pray more. So that's really part of it. But this post isn't about me. I'm not totally sure what I'm doing. Except I'm going to pray more. Because that is what I NEED to do.
I don't know what you NEED to do for Lent. Only YOU can know that.
But when considering what you should do or not do during Lent...please keep the following rules in mind.
1) Don't take on or give up anything which makes more work for someone else. For example, don't give up all computer/phone activities and make everyone call you instead of using email. Reconsider giving up Facebook if you belong to a group that primarily communicates via Facebook, and you might miss important information and then someone has to track you down and contact you individually. Don't make someone else cook special foods for you. Or make someone else do lots of extra work while you trot off to daily Mass. Your penance should really only affect you (as much as possible) unless the other person agrees to help you.
2) Don't take on or give up anything which is going to turn you into a miserable person. Fasting may not be the best idea if you are subject to low blood sugar induced anger episodes. If you need coffee to function normally..then don't give it up. If sleep makes you a nicer person, maybe deciding to get up at 4:30 AM everyday isn't the best idea.