I remember saying to my younger sister last year, or the year before, that I am going to give up wine as my Lenten sacrifice… and she said to me “didn’t you hear what the pope said???.. he said a Lenten sacrifice is something you do that impacts on the lives of others and not necessarily giving up something that you love because then you have touched or impacted on nobody with that sacrifice”…
Then Father Letang gave this story at a recent service…
A man was walking on the road and was approached by a bandit. The bandit held a gun to him and said give me what you have. So the man reached for his left pocket and handed the bandit a Roman Collar. The bandit, in shock, asked you’re a priest? and the man answered yes. The bandit then went on to apologize. The priest, feeling appreciation for being spared, reached into his right pocket and handed the bandit a pack of cigarettes. But the bandit said “it’s lent father I have given up smoking” hahahaha
Now that story made us all laugh when he told it but it tells us so so much about lent and sacrifice. The bandit was so willing to give up smoking as his Lenten sacrifice but yet there he was trying to rob someone. So in the end he did not impact on anyone and defeated the purpose of a sacrifice.
At that same service Father Letang mentioned that when someone asked him what he was giving up for Lent he said “I am giving up nothing”. For it is not what we give up that makes the season worthwhile but the circumcision of the heart. It’s the jealousy, the hate, the pride, the lust, the greed and so on – it’s those things that we are to give up in order to truly live by what “sacrifice” is about during the season. It is all well and good to give up wine, or meats, or something we love… but what good is that if we don’t treat one another with love and respect?
What good is a sacrifice if it has not impacted the life of those around us? As Christians we should aim to spread light every day and everywhere we go. It is the circumcision of the heart that allows for us to truly understand and appreciate what Lent really means to us.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.
Until Next Tine Lovies