As a runner, I love the preparation, the training, the process of being out there in the wind, rain, and cold.  When I recall marathons, images of twenty-milers, water breaks, blisters, weather, and soul searching conversations come to mind.  Life-long friendships began during long runs with the sharing of goals and dreams.

A few years ago, Father Kevin McCarthy asked me to give a talk to parents in St. Teresa’s GIFT (Growing in Faith Together) program about either Lent or Resurrection. It is no surprise that I chose Lent, and I was terrified. Who talks about Lent?

Memories from elementary school of giving up gum, candy, or pop – except on Sundays – came to mind. In high school, I gave up sweets and chocolate, with the hidden agenda of weight loss. But  Lent is more than giving up sugar or Starbucks, it is making a sacrificial commitment to change, so we can better serve the Lord.

A few years ago, Tim and I began a Lenten ritual of daily donating. There’s a box ready for tomorrow, and for each of the forty days, we will “give” something. We’ve discovered the morning joy of thinking, “What am I going to give today?” along with wondering, “Where did all this stuff come from?”

Miraculously, this custom has enabled me to move beyond the concrete – a sweater, jacket, scarf. Instead, I pray, “How am I going to give of myself today? What am I going to offer a struggling student? How am I going to help a co-worker feel validated and valuable? What can I really give today?” It’s amazing – I discovered that I can share the Light of Christ and His everlasting love. Because He has given it to me.

5 thoughts on “Lent.

  1. Stacia


    Many things make me critical of organized religion-nothing more this time of year than the “Lent Diet.” I was just discussing it with my associate yesterday as we listened to most of the people in our office discuss their doomed “I’m going to give up chocolate” pact.

    The focus you and Tim have chosen honors this season. Thanks for sharing and a reprieve from my cynicism.


  2. Barbara

    Hi Nancy, I am sitting in an arena in Scottsdale AZ waiting for my daughter, Karen, to show her horse. Your reflection reminded me that Lent starts tomorrow and triggered (no pun intended) memories of past Lenten sacrifices and inspired me to reflect on how I can be the best steward of God’s gifts during this next 49 days and beyond. Thank you.

  3. Pingback: Reflections on the Run: Lent | withcomposure

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