Mardi Gras, the day before Lent begins, is for many a day of indulgence, of excess, of elaborate parties, but the day after is a stark contrast. Ash Wednesday is a reflective day, the beginning of a time to look over our lives, especially how our life is focused (or not) on our relationship with God. Our reflection perhaps will include thoughtfully considering those very moments of extravagance and indulgence of Mardi Gras and their meaning in our lives.
Lent is a time that calls me to a simpler life. I recently read that Americans eat 30% more than they need for normal living. And yet about one third of the world's population will eat less than the bare minimum. This gives me pause and gives me a real purpose to any way I can simplify my own life. During Lent I carefully go through my closet to see if there are any items I no longer need. I still need a treat now and then, but I don't need as many as I usually have, so I will put into my Rice Bowl (from Catholic Relief Services) the amount I would have spent on a treat. These are only a few things I do to remind myself of what I need and not what I might want, ways to keep my life simple.
Is Lent calling you to look at ways you can simplify your own life?
Marie Lucek, OP