Kathleen Peterson

Storyteller & Missionary Disciple

Kosher to Change Your Lenten Offering?

Have you ever changed your Lenten Sacrifice during Lent?

I originally gave up wine. Too easy; didn’t think it through. Not that it wouldn’t be a sacrifice because I love my Merlot. But, I didn’t really give much thought to it. The decision came too fast, and like many Christians, I would hope for a big bottle in my Easter basket.

Then, Hubby said something to me the day after Ash Wednesday that really made an impact. It’s not like I haven’t heard the message before, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it during youth ministry gatherings to teens. But, when the Holy Spirit speaks through your husband you tend to listen with the heart. His comments were confirmed by homilies at daily Mass with 2 different priests that week.

Basically the message was this:

What we give up, what we offer as sacrifice, should not be something that we jump back to when Easter comes around. The offering should be something which has been impeding our relationship with the Lord. It should be something that, when removed, helps us to grow stronger in faith, fall deeper in love with the Creator, and enable us to become lifelong, authentic disciples of Jesus. We don’t return to it 40 days later.

Merlot is not a barrier for me so it wouldn’t be a “pleasing sacrifice”. And, I want to give Jesus my very best.

I’ve mentioned before, mornings are my favorite time of day when I sit in my comfy chair, look out the back door, hold my morning coffee, and pray the Liturgy of the Hours. But, lately, I’ve fallen into the trap of waking up so groggy that I grab my coffee and mindlessly watch the news until the fog lifts when I can focus on prayer.

The first few days I did this, it was not a problem. But the devil knows my weakness and I allowed myself to watch TV longer and longer. It got to the point where I rationalized the prayer time away. ‘The morning went on too long’, I thought, ‘I had errands to run, laundry to do, meals to cook’.

Morning prayer kind of stopped.

After Jerry and I talked about Lent, I really took stock of what was getting between me and God – it was the way I’ve been starting my day. TV has been robbing me of my time with the Lord and I need that time back.

So, I’ll allow myself an occasional evening Merlot but my mornings will be deplete of television.

I’m back to basics with coffee and prayer.

This is an offering I believe to be pleasing to the Lord and one that, with God’s grace, I will continue after 40 days.

It’s only been a few days, but I’m loving the change so far and I think Jesus is too. 💕

Pray for me as I pray for you.

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