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This Lent

April 20, 2011

The Lenten Season is one of the most anticipated seasons for Christians. It’s a very good time to reflect, be in touch with God, recall the blessings, and be sorry for our mistakes. The Catholic Church encourages that we sacrifice something for Lent, and it has been common practice to abstain from meat and fast during Fridays during the whole season. It is a way to find humility, and to realize that we are very much blessed in our lives.

For this Lenten season, however, I’ve decided to hold back on the following things:
1) Sin
2) Beef and Pork
3) Extra Rice

Though I haven’t really been strict with #2 and #3, avoiding #1 was the most difficult (duh). My sacrifice this year, I think, is more lenient than it was before food-wise. Last year, I only had poultry and seafood, and the year before that, I also fasted on Friday (eating dinner only). Adding sin up in the list was just crazy, but I gave it a shot anyway.

I remember the time, 2 years ago, when I fasted on Fridays. Two words to describe it: “Very Humbling.”

Food was everywhere. Holding back was a trial, all I was thinking was “malapit na ang 7pm!” which now, I think was just very greedy of me. I thought about the people who were on the streets with nothing; just an open palm to ask for help. Blessings were everywhere for them: Food, shelter, companionship, love, and yet they had little or none. Blessings were also everywhere for me, and yet all I was doing was limiting myself from them.

How blessed I am compared to them. How unfortunate of them compared to me. We both yearn but I had the capacity to feed my hunger, and they don’t have that much.

What resilience, what humility, what trials they have compared to me who is only worrying about where I shall have dinner with my friends. What ignorance, what apathy, what indifference I have for this realization, and yet do nothing.

Starting that time on, I would help anyone who would ask with whatever I have. I’d ask myself, “What would I want people to do to me when I’m in their predicament?”

The Lenten season is an avenue to learn new things about myself, and this year, I learned to just take it easy with life, follow my heart, and just roll with the punches as they come along. Be strong. Accept myself. Don’t abuse the blessings, and keep in mind a moral and clear conscience. We fall to temptation and commit sins many times, but it’s the standing back up that really counts.

Have a Holy Week!

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