So, here we are being encouraged to stuff ourselves before the fasting begins. I'll admit it is tempting but having just come home from a 12 day cruuuuuuuise, well, it just can't be. Both Jim and I feel like we have been in the land of the "eat, drink, and be merry" fests. So, for us, we will have to wait .... a long time before we start over indulging again.
With Lent looming I remember being a child and trying to make sacrifices...no chocolate, no gum (except that my parents deemed Sundays a "free day" where we were exempt from the pain of fasting), no talking back, being kinder to my siblings (tho I guess it wasn't very kind when I would open my sister's top drawer and put all the JUNK from the top of her dresser into that top drawer, and big sister that I was, enjoy the look on her face when she realized that I had not just cleaned the top of her dresser)....etv, etc. Somewhere there could have been a Catholic manual (like the Baltimore catechism?) with the suggestions for fasting for each age group.
As a teenager the list was a little varied....no swearing, no gossiping, being kinder, no smoking or smoking less.
As a parent the list changed dramatically...I promise I will not *(&^^)&^=< my two year old when she throws her dolls at me....I won't completely lose it when my toddlers ransack the kitchen while I catch a few winks, having just delivered our third little one six days before....I promise I will smoke less (until my two year old throws her dolls at me and my toddlers ransack the kitchen...then all bets are off!)....I will exercise more (this cannot include running away the minute the husband walks in the door after MY day of dealing with 4 darlings)...etc.
As the years have gone by (and I have become wiser...yes, and older) I have learned more about what TO DO rather than what NOT to do.
Sacrifice comes in many forms, and it doesn't always have to be something HUGE.
It can be something as simple and pure as smiling at a harried mother in a grocery line....offering a prayer for anyone you come in contact with....spending less time complaining and more time in gratitude....making a gratitude list every day....putting others first (of course for those of us who are grandparents, that's a no brainer....wouldn't we do ANYTHING for our grandchildren??).....loving more and hating less....being more tolerant of SELF and others....
Everyone's list is different; every heart song is different. So, I hope you will listen to your heart songs this season and allow the gentle nudging of the Spirit to guide you in all your ways.
Remember that to some people you are the only gospel they will ever hear/see.
Blessings and love.....