When I was maybe eight or nine, I gave up TV for Lent. At the time, it seemed nearly impossible, and I was proud of challenging myself.
One Lenten evening, my family gathered in our living room to watch TV. Since I had given it up, I sat with my back to the television. After a while, I realized that I could see the reflection of the television in the bay window. I spent about five minutes watching the gray reflection before my dad noticed.
“Rebecca,” he asked, “are you watching the reflection of the TV?” I answered sheepishly, “Yes, but Dad—I gave up the TV and this is the window!” I was missing the point. I thought that Lent was about competing for the most impressive sacrifice. But Lent, as I have since learned, is so much more.
It starts with its three pillars—prayer, fasting, and almsgiving—all of which we should challenge ourselves to grow in during Lent. Lent is primarily a time of preparation. It calls us to remember what is most important, and to leave behind everything else. Lent prepares us to be more joyful than ever before, celebrating the great mysteries of our Catholic faith.
By Rebecca Vodola