The Struggles of Being Catholic During Lent

 

Lent is the time of year that everyone loves because it means Easter is just around the corner, but also hates because it is the long forty days and forty nights without something you love. Typically, we give things we love up for lent to symbolize the sacrifices that Jesus made in the forty days and forty nights he was in the desert.

This first and hardest struggle is definitely the no meat on Friday rule. In the olden days, meat was associated with celebrations and feasts. Since lent is a time of fasting and reflection and we associate Fridays with the story of Jesus’ Passion, we do not see that as a day to celebrate and feast, so we do not eat meat. 

Even worse than not being able to eat meat on Fridays is eating meat, and then remembering you weren’t supposed to. The feeling of guilt overwhelms you almost as much as if you would have committed a crime. All that goes through your head is, “Jesus suffered forty days and forty nights in the desert, then went through crucifixion for my sins and I can’t even give up meat for one day?!” 

Another struggle of lent is not giving something up, but trying to decide what to give up. Some people give up things like sweets or chocolate, or they go all out and give up meat or carbs for the entirety of lent. Some give up social media, and others give up something like biting their nails. One really great thing people do is instead of giving something up, they try to do something better. These things range from being nicer to people, going to the gym more, and even giving to charity more often. 

With giving up things for lent comes the cravings of the absence of those things. You think that forty days and nights won’t be that bad, but after a long day of school or work, when all you want is that pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and you can’t have it, it is that bad. A lot of people say that every Sunday during lent is a celebration of Easter, so those are days where you can “cheat” and partake in what you gave up for lent. 

By the end of lent, you find yourself craving the things you gave up less and less. And then one day, someone offers you the one thing you gave up and you find yourself  craving it all over again. It seems even harder to resist than in the beginning before you conditioned yourself to not want it. 

There are plenty of lenten struggles that we as Catholics go through during lent, but the bottom line is that Jesus went through so much more than not eating meat for one day or giving up ice cream. We do this because it is a time of reflection and to honor the things that Jesus had to go through in order to forgive all of mankind for their sins. 

 

 

 

 

Photo Source:

https://twitter.com/RelatableQuote/status/441370145978867713