News flash: Lent isn't just about giving up chocolate. Lent is about drawing closer to God and striving toward holiness. I've been reminded so many times the last couple weeks to not just give up the same old thing, year after year, but instead to look for what it is which might be coming between me and a deeper relationship with God.
Each Lent, we as a family do something together. In the past we've given up desserts or going out to eat. This year, instead of giving something up, we are doing something more active. For 1/2 an hour each day we are turning off all electronics and retreating to a quiet place where we can engage in spiritual reading or prayer. Leo will be a bit tricky, but Angela and I have come up with a solution for him. During the family 1/2 hour of quiet and reflection, I will read to Leo from saint stories and The Catholic Treasure Box series. Angela will take him after she's had her quiet time and I'll then have my own 1/2 hour to read and pray. We are all really looking forward to it.
We all participate in the family Lenten sacrifice, but then we encourage them each to choose something extra to do on their own; something more personal. My personal sacrifice is one I've been mulling and feeling the Holy Spirit nudge me with for quite awhile. For me it will be quite a sacrifice, but one I've needed to make as I know this is one of my personal foibles which keeps me from that deeper relationship I've been desiring.
So, what has the Holy Spirit been calling you to do this Lent? As our priest recommended this Sunday, spend some time praying for guidance before Lent begins. Let's make this trip into the desert truly meaningful!