Giving up for Lent

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Rev. Anthony Giamello
Pastor, St. John the Apostle/St. Bernadette

We begin our Lenten journey this Wednesday by marking ourselves with ashes. During the Lenten season we are encouraged to “give things up.” To empty ourselves of the things of this world to decrease in sin so that Christ may increase in us. I have a few suggestions to help you this Lenten season.

GIVE UP grumbling. Instead, “In everything give thanks.” Constructive criticism is OK, but “moaning, groaning, and complaining” are not Christian disciplines.

GIVE UP 10 to 15 minutes of sleep time! Instead, use that time for prayer, Bible study and personal devotion, ie. Holy Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

GIVE UP looking at other people’s worst points. Instead concentrate on their best points. We all have faults. It is a lot easier to have people overlook our shortcomings when we overlook theirs’ first.

GIVE UP speaking unkindly. Instead, let your speech be generous and understanding. It costs so little to say something kind and uplifting. Why not check that sharp tongue at the door?

GIVE UP your hatred of anyone or anything! Instead, learn the discipline of love. “Love covers a multitude of sins.”

GIVE UP your worries and anxieties! Instead, trust God with them. Anxiety is spending emotional energy on something we can do nothing about: like tomorrow! Live today and let God’s grace be sufficient.

GIVE UP tv one evening a week! Instead, visit someone lonely or a sick person. We have parishioners who are isolated by illness or age. Why isolate yourself in front of the tv? Give someone a precious gift: your time!

GIVE UP buying anything but essentials for yourself. Instead, make an offering to your favorite charity. We are called to be stewards of God’s riches, not consumers.

GIVE UP judging by appearances and by the standards of the world! Instead, learn to give of yourself more freely to God in prayer.

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