Lent is a time for introspection and contemplation.
Many of us prepare for the celebration of the resurrection by sharing in the passion of Christ during these 40 days.
One traditional method of participating in the Savior's suffering is by creating some degree of sacrifice in our own lives.
No matter how small, each little thing we deny ourselves helps unite us with the mission of Calvary.
So it was with great respect and reverence that I read through the short essays posted on the walls of Mater Dei Academy in Wickliffe.
The children in the early primary grades were asked to describe their efforts during the Lenten season.
Here are the highlights of a few of these reflections.
James P. wrote, " For Lent, I will not eat suckers because they are unhealthy. I'll give them to my sister who is sluggish and thin."
What a guy.
Mary S. also was concerned about candy. She said, " I have decided to give up gum for Lent. In this way I can give the money I save to the homeless. This will permit me to donate $6.54."
A future accountant, no doubt.
Joseph J. expressed damage control by saying, "I have decided that I will stop insulting people during Lent. That will help everyone I know."
Jacob R. said, "For Lent I am giving up spitting."
Margie W. said, " I am giving up playing the violin for Lent."
So much for practice.
Sometimes habits are hard to break. Mark W. said, " I have decided to give up hitting my brother for Lent. Normally, I hit him every day."
Timothy L. was thoughtful in telling us, "I am fasting during Lent because when I see Jesus, I take dying on the cross seriously. My brother isn't giving anything up but he needs to know that sacrificing things isn't a joke."
Stewart G. tells of a drama in his household.
His paper reads, "For Lent I am going to stop taking other people's stuff in my family because in the end it doesn't go well for me. I don't want to make mom and dad mad. No one wants that."
No one indeed.
David H. demonstrated that sometimes you have to make a choice: " For lent I had to choose between being nice to my brother or giving up pop. I decided to give up pop because it is too hard to be nice to my brother."
Matthew S. provided my favorite one. This is a young man who understands the heart of St. Francis.
He proudly proclaimed, " For Lent I have decided to give up wrestling my dog because it hurts him and makes him limp."
I have the feeling that at Matthew's home, Fido is somewhat apprehensive. The dawn of Easter Sunday may signal the opening bell of round one, with the family mutt stuck in a hammerlock little Matt learned watching Wrestlemania.
This last essay was very short but also very poignant, written by William M.
He said, "For Lent I am going to spend some time talking to my deaf and autistic brother. He likes to talk."
Now that's the true spirit of Lent.
I'm giving up ice cream.
It's just too hard to be nice to my mother-in-law.