I am a confirmed Catholic Christian. I don’t claim to be a saint, and most days, I would say I aim for greatness. I’m in a relatively rocky spot currently, but it happens, I suppose. I don’t care to talk about that one in this post, and maybe never. But, I do want to talk about the current liturgical season that is fast approaching. Well Lent, of course, beings tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. It lasts for some time and comes to a conclusion with Holy Week and Easter. It’s a common practice for us to fast, abstain, or simply refrain from using, doing, eating, etc. something and take that time or moment to reflect on Christ and his forty days in the desert. For as long as I can remember, every time Lent came around, we gave something up, and that was that. When I was little it was something small like chocolate and I’m sure no real reflection took place. As I’ve gotten older though, it’s become a bit more meaningful. I take the time to really thing about what I’ll abstain from and really use that time to reflect. Some years I’ll add extra prayers, attend daily mass regularly, and go out of my way to do something that will be an actual challenge. I may receive some disagreement from some in saying this, but I honestly believe that Lent has become about something very artificial. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked ‘what I’m giving up for Lent’ these past few years, and it’s so obvious that the person asking simply wants to compare how ‘big’ or ‘difficult’ what they’re giving up is compared to mine. Lent has become a ‘who can be the best Catholic’ time of year. I’m beginning to be relatively skeptical about the intentions people have regarding everything and anything. No, I don’t know what i’m ‘giving up’ for lent. No I don’t think that somehow what you’re ‘giving up’ compared to what I will be ‘giving up’ makes you superior to me. You’re giving up soda, well I’m giving up all drinks besides water. Oh, you’re giving up facebook, well I’m giving up using any technological device. Oh, you’re not going to eat meat or any food besides basic necessities all of Lent, well I’m going to give up breathing. That’s an example to the extreme, but that’s honestly how I feel. It’s all about one-upping your Catholic friends. I don’t think it’s right of you to think you’re superior to me because of this awesome faith life that you flaunt in my face when I’m struggling. You shove your prayer books and your useless advice in my face, but what I need is to decide myself that I need something more, and decide to change. That has to be my choice, and your flaunting of your perfect lives breaks me down. I need to be inspired, not chastised. I need to have desire, not feelings of inferiority. I need a break, but I’d rather have a breakthrough.