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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Considerations for Lent
Let’s not just “give up,” but “pick up” a few things in our “spiritual shopping cart” this season

This year Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2012

by Paola Treviño


Lent begins this Wednesday, February 22, 2012, and you may be wracking your brain, asking, “What am I going to give up?”  Ideas race through your mind -- chocolates, Facebook, pop, sweets?  Giving these things up might be good for your body, but will it be good for your soul?

Lent is a time of self-denial.   We accompany Christ during the 40 days He was in the desert, preparing Himself for His mission, and to teach us the value of sacrifice.  We come to realize that self denial in small things makes us stronger for the spiritual battle.

I don’t know about you, but I’m very stubborn.  When someone tells me “Yes,” I say “No,” and vice-versa, even during Lent.  But I invite you join me on my Lenten “Yes” Campaign.  Instead of “giving up,” let’s “pick up.”  Let´s gather a few things in our spiritual shopping cart! 

• “Pick up" a smile.

• "Pick up" the habit of speaking well of others.

• “Pick up" thinking positive thoughts.

• "Pick up" an hour to serve others rather than just yourself.

If you are like me, you might have difficulty with these ideas because you are missing one thing in your life.  At the World Day of Communications 2012, Pope Benedict XVI suggested we “pick up” SILENCE.

Keeping quiet is, for me, a rare virtue.  But I think silence is what I need most this Lent in order to accompany Christ in this “YES” campaign.  When reflecting on the Pope’s suggestion, I came up with 12 types of silence.  During the next four weeks, I will go over these.  Below is my first installment:


1. Silence your world.  Do a time check, and write down how many hours you spend on Facebook, texting, chatting with friends, studying, and in prayer. Maybe this week we can pick up and add to our “cart” 5 minutes of silence to talk to God.  You can simply pray, “Lord, I adore you, I believe in you, I love you and I hope in you, and I thank you for all you have done for me…”

2. Silence the noise.  What is the first thing you do when you wake up?  When you get in the car?  When you leave the dorm room to get to class?  Do you turn on your TV, radio, and iPod?  Maybe instead you can pick-up and add to your “cart” the act of listening to nothing for 5 minutes, and simply reflecting without noise.

3. Silence your imagination.  How many of us are day dreamers? (If Hollywood could read our minds they would get some great screen plays!)  How about picking up and adding to your “cart” the act of giving 100% of your attention to class or to your work.

More considerations next week….



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