Well, Lent began very well. My alarm went off very early at 6:45 so I could get up and go pray for the dead at Holy Cross Cemetery. It was actually quite the victory moment for me because I love the snooze button. But I got up and did it and it felt good to have a success right away.
Unfortunately, however, I woke up extremely hungry despite my Fat Tuesday extravaganza last night. It was a tough morning, and actually a really tough day altogether. I ate lunch, but that made it so much worse. Then I ate a small meal not too long ago, and that made it even worse. I know, I shouldn’t complain, but it kind of has me rethinking my penance of only eating one meal a day during Lent. If I can hardly make it through today, how will I make it through tomorrow? Friday? Next week? The next? This is a pretty extreme penance, and I really should have been consulting my spiritual director. And so, when I go to do my Holy Hour later, I really need to pray about the daily food fast aspect of my penance to discern whether this is something God actually desires for me to do, or if it something I have chosen to do out of foolish pride.
Hunger pains aside, its been a great day. I was able to serve for Mass at noon and sing at Mass at 5:15. The homilies were great and reinforced that Lent is about having a real encounter with Christ. If we fast, abstain, pray, go to Mass, go to Confession, in vain, we will not meet Christ. We have to look at our motives. Are we living for Christ, or living for self?
What are the things I desire? Are they things of God? Are they the things of my own pride? Only by spending time in self-denial with a focus on Christ, will these questions be able to be answered. But more important than the answers is the resolution to live for the things of God.
“Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.”