I hate Lent.
And I love Lent.
I hate it for the heavy guilt that bears down on me every season.
And I love it for everything else.
I am incredibly weak. Every Ash Wednesday I know what my sacrifice should be: I should forgo my beloved joe.
And for 40 days I fail.
Come Holy Week, then, and I feel relieved: an end to the guilt is imminent!
But then I feel like I haven’t earned Easter.
(And I hate that feeling.)
I know people who go about their Lenten penance as matter-of-factly as they pick up a carton of milk at the grocer’s. It’s what they need to do, so they do it.
For Minnesota Me, though, it’s always this Great Big Thing.
A great big sacrifice! Can I do it?
Is it a sign, perhaps, of my personality?
Or a sign that I’m pathetically addicted?
I don’t know.
I heard a homily where the priest said, “Do not choose a sacrifice that’s too difficult.”
In my case, that’d be my coffee.
Brewed strong, please.
Cream. No sugar.
Okay, I think, I’ll switch to tea.
Okay, I’ll leave the cream out.
Okay, I’ll stop at just one cup.
Okay, I’ll just stop trying.
Perhaps the real sacrifice is facing my weakness.
Perhaps there’s another penance that would do.
When I look at this photo, though, I want to be better.
And I want to give my Lord my best.