Sacrificing for Lenten

Alex Merrifield

Over the next forty days until Easter on April 16, I along with hundreds of millions of Catholics around the globe will prepare for the resurrection of Christ and observe historic Lenten traditions, starting tomorrow with Ash Wednesday.

Each year, Catholics during this time traditionally give something up that is fun or pleasurable in their life as a sacrifice to come closer to God and prepare for His resurrection. Catholics also abstain from red meat on Friday’s during this time, and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Although some other Christian denominations observe lent, the traditional practices of the Catholic Church have been a staple since at least 203 AD, and became more mainstream when Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire by Emperor St. Constantine in 313.

As I have prayed and reflected on what I should give up this year on a personal level, I have come to the conclusion that giving up sweet food such as cake, cookies, ice cream, candy or any soft drink will help me to be more spiritually strong as I sacrifice something that I enjoy almost on a daily basis.

The main goal in giving up these things is to come closer to God and reflect on the upcoming time of Easter to become a stronger Christian and friend to others, but a fortunate side effect is that it will probably help me become more prepared as an athlete, as my first track meet is Friday. The goal is not just to avoid sweet foods that are unhealthy, but to eat healthier overall.

This isn’t the first time I have given up sweet foods as a Lenten sacrifice, as I gave them up when I was in seventh grade. Last year I gave up meat, but this year I feel it is important to focus on staying away from sugar and eating more nutritious foods.

As the Lenten season begins, I will continue with diligence to not give into the temptation of these things, and focus on healthier options. With prayer and sacrifice over the next forty days, my mission of coming closer to God as I prepare for Easter with hundreds of millions of other Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and some Protestants around the world can be completed.