We are now in the season of Lent. I have always been told that you must give something up during these 40 days. I always hated this because, much like New Year’s resolutions, it just set me up for failure. Since I converted to Catholicism, there are now more Lenten obligations to which I am supposed to adhere (I confess that I ate meat this morning, and I probably will do so again later today).
This Lent, instead of giving something up, I am going to do somethings. One of the things is to practice the Examen, an Ignatian prayer technique in which we reflect on the blessings and mistakes of our day. This exercise helps us to see God’s Presence in all parts of our day and discern what we are called to do.
I use the Examen podcast by Father James Martin. Before the Practice begins, a short reflection is read. The Reflection this week is about not giving up something for Lent, but instead doing something positive. He suggests that we should “Be Nice.” If you want to put it in terms of giving something up, then you can “Not be a Jerk.”
I will take him up on this suggestion. I hope others do the same. We could use more of this in our society.