Thursday, February 26, 2009

I never do what I should

Okay, so that's not entirely true. But I have an essay to finish and it's already 1:30 in the morning. Oh boy.

I wanted to post to document the progress of my Lenten Resolution. Today, as you may know, was Ash Wednesday. There was a lot of talk around campus about Lent and ashes and an excess of the question, "What are YOU giving up?" In light of tonight's Gospel, though, ( Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18), this struck me as odd. One point of the Gospel today was the intentions and motives of your actions of faith. Prayer, fasting, and alms-giving (the three pillars of Lent), are meant to be done for God's almighty purpose and not for the purpose of making sure others see you do it. My Renew Faith-sharing group tonight had an interesting discussion tonight about our resolutions and about public actions. We kind of tackled it from all points of view and I can't give you much of a conclusion other than that one should always do things for the right reason, not for the sake of others seeing what we have done.

For this reason, I am posting my Lenten resolution for my sake alone. The purpose is not to call attention to myself and say, "Hey, look at what I'm doing. I'm a great Catholic!" This isn't my intention at all. My intention is to have a place where I can reflect on my day-to-day progress over the next 40-odd days. I more or less consider tomorrow Day 1 for this purpose, although technically, today is Day 1 (which is okay, since I didn't break my resolutions! :) ).

So today, Day 0 (or 1 ;p), I'd like to just outline my resolutions:

1. I will not buy anything for myself other than food for my room. This food has qualifications, too. I am limited to fruits, vegetables, crackers, milk, and orange juice. Nothing else will be bought for my personal desires. No trinkets, no yarn, no knitting needles, no crochet hooks, no books, no "nothin'".

2. I will return to going to the chapel daily for half an hour to read my Bible and pray. I started this last semester as part of a "Faith in Action" prompt from my Freshman Renew Faith-Sharing Group and although I have not returned to it yet this semester, I will make it happen daily over the next 40-odd days.

3. I will focus on compassion and love in the purest sense. For me, this means being kind to everyone, even when my pride would rather make a stand. I will not be short-tempered with anyone. I will spend time working with a food drive through my Newman community on campus. I will do my very best to avoid starting useless arguments with those close to me, since I find it so easy to lose my patience with those I'm closest to. It's time to overcome that human, sinful, habit. If not overcome, than at least stand up against it. We're all capable of being better than that and I'm willing to prove that to my God and myself.

That's more or less it. I'm praying I can make it work the way God wants it to. May He enlighten me and teach me so much in this season of reflection. God bless you all!

"We will wear compassion and the gates of Hell won't stand against it." - As Cities Burn: "Gates"