Breaking Lenten Sacrifices

A few days ago, I posted about my Lenten sacrifices for this year. (If you haven’t read it, here it is: “The Beginning of Lent: My Sacrifices This Season“) I initially didn’t think there would be any follow up to it, until I read a post entitled, “My Biggest Lent Fails and How I Learned Mortification Without Suffering (Almost).”

To provide a quick update, I am very happy to say that so far, my family and I have been doing great with our Lent undertakings. I know it has only been seven days since the start of the Lenten season, but I can’t help but hide my happiness over our on-going strong commitment to our sacrifices. Yes, they may not be as difficult as the sacrifices or undertakings of many Catholics, but we take them very seriously and abide by them with a willing heart.

I have not always been successful with my Lenten offerings. Although there are some years I succeed in adhering to all of the sacrifices I promise to do at the start of each Lent, most years I end up falling short. This year, I hope to really carry out ALL of my offerings. And also try to sustain the sacrifices all year round. Do you think that’s possible?

The Best Catholic Articles This Week – February 11

It’s Friday so I am going to share some of the best Catholic posts I have read in the last week. We have a had quite a busy week with the news from Pope Benedict XVI, Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, and the beginning of Lent so there were plenty of really great posts I read throughout the week. Make sure to check out these posts, they are certainly worth while!

Lent: Movies – This post was originally made on Happy Catholic. The author lists several movies that have themes of sin, reparation, and redemption. The author shares links to reviews of the films and talks briefly about what each one is about. I thought this post was awesome, and I am hoping to see some of the films soon. I plan to start with Stranger Than Fiction.

On Valentine’s Day Give Love – I thought the message of this post was fantastic. I came away with the message that on Valentine’s Day many people show love and appreciation to their friends, family, and spouses, but God should not be forgotten. God has such an immense love for us, and we should show him love every day. Valentine’s Day should be a day where you also remember to show God your love!

9 Things You Should Know about Pope Benedict XVI – The news about Pope Benedict XVI shocked the Catholic world earlier this week. In this post found on The Gospel Coalition Blog they talk about Pope Benedict XVI and some things you should know about him and the papacy.

Path to Humility – This post focuses on an integral theme in my opinion, which is humility. I know that I am forever humbled by the great love God has shown me. This post runs along those lines and talks about God’s love for all of us.

Catholicism Through My Eyes: Confession – This post talks about Confession and how other religions ridicule Catholics for believing our priests can absolve our sins. I know I have been asked before why we even have to go to Confession. This article could give you a good basis for explaining that to a non-Catholic friend.

The Beginning of Lent: My Sacrifices This Season

Lent starts today, the 13th of February, so I thought it would be a wonderful time to share what I decided to do for this year’s sacrificial season.

1. Pray the rosary with my entire family everyday.

2. Pray for a different person each day.

3. Fast every Friday.

4. No fast food.

So there you have it, my ideas for renewing my spiritual commitment to my faith and strengthening my relationship with Christ. As you can see, my Lenten promises are a combination of giving up something and building a new positive habit. Lent is about spiritual transformation and conversion, hopefully we can make the most out of this blessed season.

If you want to know other ideas  for lent sacrifices, here’s a good list: Your Handy-Dandy List to Lenten Sacrifices. And if you have already your own offerings for Lent, please share them in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you are all doing this Lenten season!

Do We Really Need To Give Up Something For Lent?

A post entitled, What Are You Giving Up for Lent? inspired me to write this entry. For 10 years or so, I have been joining the Catholic community in the tradition of offering a Lenten sacrifice. I say 10 years because I really did not care much about Lent when I was in my younger years, although my mother never failed to remind me of its importance. However, over the years, I realized how wonderful the season of Lent is for a struggling Catholic like me.

Lent is a season of conversion–a season to reflect on our short-comings, acknowledge the ways we have turned away from God, and focus on strengthening our relationship with Him. The season affords the blessing of spiritual renewal–a time to renew our commitment to our Christian faith.

I believe the act of giving up something during Lent plays a very huge role in renewing our commitment to Christ. Through it, we do what Jesus himself said in Luke 9:23: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Sacrament of Reconciliation

He said “I don’t remember.”

I heard some great content — right from the pew “at the 7” this morning.

In Sunday’s first reading, Isaiah wrote about remembering your sins no more. Let it go, I am doing something new (things of long ago, consider not!). “It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more.”

This lead to the topic of today’s homily.

This is a story I heard years ago, but did not recall it until I heard it again today. In the Philippines, there was a Catholic priest who carried a sin from his past. Apparently, the priest committed a sin way back, while in the seminary.

Yes, this priest had since repented a long time ago.

But the priest continued to carry the sin with him to the present day.

Carrying a sin beyond the confessional walls is such a needless burden.
Along the way, this priest met a woman who claimed to have visions of Christ, and said she would speak with God.

The priest asked the woman, “The next time you speak with God, ask Him what sin I had committed while in the seminary.” A few days later, the priest ran into the woman. And the priest asked, “Well, did you asked God what sin I committed in seminary?”

“Yes, I asked Him.”
“Well, what did He say?”

“He said, ‘I don’t remember.'”

Look, if God can forgive us and leave it all in the past — and cannot remember sins we seem to dwell on —

why do humans have such problems with forgiveness?

As we begin the season of Lent this week, the topic of forgiving others — as well forgiving ourselves — needs to be a topic to focus on. Why do you feel we have so many issues centering around “forgiveness?”