Mercy Mondays: What will you give up for Lent? And what will you do instead?
The season of Lent began two weeks ago on Ash Wednesday. For many Christians around the world, the Lenten season is a call to refocus on prayer, fasting and giving.
During the beginning of Lent, we almost always hear people asking each other is the question, “What are you giving up for Lent?” It is a question that often evokes surprising responses. Some give up something they love such as chocolate or coffee, while others use this time to overcome addiction. Some give up negative thoughts or feelings of envy. I know a student who joked that they have too much homework and will be giving up sleep.
Whatever you give up, it is commendable. Fr. Ray Malm, one of our University chaplains, says to keep your goal attainable so that you don’t give up your giving up! In other words, make your goal something you can realistically do, because the challenge of setting goals is often keeping the momentum to achieve them.
However, it also becomes easier when we see that with giving something up, we also can gain something in return. As we give up something, we are filling that empty space with other rewarding things. That’s why this Lent, we invite the entire Salve Regina community to consider how we can make a little extra room within ourselves to fill with something that will bring us wholeness and life.
The very term Lent is derived from an Old English word meaning “spring season,” which means it’s a time of transformation and growth. And as Christians begin their Lenten journey into the Easter season of light and rebirth, we ask the University community to consider how we use this winter season to work on ourselves in preparation for the springtime of new growth and rebirth.
This Lenten season, you are invited to share with the community what you will give up for Lent. But also, you are invited to share what you are gaining? What will you be doing instead as you give up something?
Click here to share your Lenten goals with us! The Mercy Center for Spiritual Life will be sharing quotes from students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members on their social media throughout Lent. We hope that this period of 40 days will be a transformative one for you — and whatever your goal may be, we are all here to journey together.
Offered by Matthew J. Kelly, campus minister of liturgical music, service & social justice
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.
Featured photo by Getty Images/nambitomo