In Fairhope, Alabama, I grew up in a family of six where giving up something for Lent was an expectation, not a choice. A few days before Ash Wednesday, the dinner conversation revolved around one question: 'What you are giving up for Lent?'
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We need to be clear that there is a difference between loss and abstinence. I choose to abstain for a purpose, but loss may be imposed on me by circumstance.
Our faith is done a disservice by ministers who seek to have the most, rather than seek out those with the least. Kent's act does what ministry should: challenge, inform and enliven our faith lives.
I may not be Catholic anymore, but I am going to go back to my roots this year and give up something for Lent. It's not really a sacrifice, but it will be hard.
In the Gospels Jesus says, "It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice." Here's a novel idea for Lent: why not take Jesus at his word?
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