I gave up chocolate. I didn't think that through! I was thinking Reeses, M&Ms, that sort of thing....but did y'all know that there is chocolate in hot cocoa? ;) It didn't occur to ME until the 3rd sip.... And in EVERY DESSERT THAT IS MADE during Lent? ;) I slipped one time, with a sip of hot cocoa on a freezing morning while out of town on business (I don't drink coffee often, but when I do it's with chocolate creamer. Guess what else I ended up giving up for Lent? Yep, coffee!). I somehow managed to make it through Lent without once having meat on Friday. That's a bit more difficult while on the road with limited choices in restaurants, but I made it. Didn't hurt me to go a bit hungry. This might be my first year without 'slipping' on the meat abstinence. We went to a big pre-game party that included FREE burgers, brats and hot dogs on the local MLB team home opener.....it was on a Friday. Boy did that smell good! I went again a few days later, and was able to have a dog at the game. It didn't taste near as good as I was imagining it on the previous Friday.(Much like sins, don't you think? They aren't near as rewarding as we think they will be, even for the moment.....) (more after the break)----------------->
I attended Mass each weekend, which is required unless illness. There were times I didn't feel like going, but I did. I attended additional weekday Masses, as well as Reconciliation and Adoration, but at about the same rate I usually go...except Reconciliation. I've went more to that. My parish offered additional activities (Stations, talks) that I wasn't able to attend, unfortunately. I plan on those for next year.
I didn't hide my light or my faith under a bushel, but nor did I 'pharisee' my faith and pray for my own glory on street corners. When asked why I wasn't having meat, I would say I can't eat it, because it's Lent and I'm Catholic. If they wanted more info, I offered it. Otherwise, I kept to myself. I imposed a self-penance for a struggle I"m having, and it actually helped. I don't think I once denied the Lord when offered the opportunity to share the Lord instead. It's easy to turn that voice in your head 'off' and ignore it, most of the time. But God has a way of getting through to me; in the past, it's usually the THIRD time He tells me to share Him and the Faith before I give in. But I'm answering the first or second time instead, and sometimes, even when He hasn't asked me to share; He still gives me the blessing and knowledge that I need in the situation though. I have acquaintances who are actually coming *to* me to ask questions about Catholicism.
I prayed more, and in some ways, prayed less. I've sinned more, and in some ways, I've sinned less. I'm thankful for His Forgiveness and His Sacrifice.
Ezekial (click for full book) 18:26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it; for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he shall save his life. 28 Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.