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Friday, February 23, 2007

Just say 'no' to the hotdog

No, I haven't given up blogging for Lent. I have however given up looking at blogs during the daytime. I knew I had a problem when my 14 month old started waddling over the the computer and unplugging it any time I was on for more than a minute. Children have a way of setting your priorities straight for you.
Now, I only glance at blogs in the evening, *if* I'm not exhausted which seems the norm recently. And the caffeine withdrawal headaches aren't helping either. So just a few quick thoughts.
At our Ash Wednesday service Father talked about doing fasting and penance this Lent not just for our sins, but the sins of all those in the Church and the world at large. Even if you're a pretty good person with no mortal sins hanging over your head you can, and should, still go hardcore for Lent. There are plenty of other souls whose sins are crying out to heaven for vengeance. Every little bit you sacrifice is not going to waste. Personally, I feel like I need to go bread and water for 40 days every Lent until I die if I want a shot at heaven but I'm not quite that hardcore. I'm confident my soul needs whatever paltry penance I can muster, but I know that nothing I do is wasted. I don't need to look too far to find close family and friends whose paths have strayed and may need something offered up on their behalf. If I ever feel I've done 'good enough' for me,I can always work on 'good enough' for everyone else.
If you feel yourself reaching for a hotdog on Friday and you hear that little voice saying, "What's it gonna hurt? God knows you tried to resist. You're not a saint. They don't offer fish." STOP! Suck it up and think of someone you love, here or departed, ensnared by sin. Do you care for their eternal soul? Offer up that disappointment and hunger for them. Even if you have all perfect friends and family, offer it up for all those nameless heathens gallivanting around the world. You may still hanker that hotdog but what joy to turn that sacrifice, however small you think it, into something so powerful as to save souls. Consider it part of your almsgiving if you're short on cash. Give your prayers and your sacrifices to those in need. The poor are not just in soup kitchens; we are also fighting spiritual poverty among all levels of society.