Last year for Lent, I gave up video games. It was beneficial, though I must be honest and say I just watched more TV on Hulu instead. This year, I'm giving up fancy coffee, and I am also attempting to read the whole Catechism of the Catholic Church. Why do I tell you this, you may ask? After all, if I tell you what I am giving up, is that not a form of bragging? Am I not earning my full reward here, rather than in Heaven? Ah, but think about this: If I tell you about my Lenten abstinence, it will cause you to think me a bragger, which will cause you to think less of me, which will lower my standing in the eyes of the world, which will make me humble, which will reduce my pride, which will prepare me for Heaven. However, if I am allowing myself to be humbled for the sake of spiritual gain, am I not seeking after glory? And if I am seeking after glory, will this not lead to pride? And, if it leads to pride, will this not lead to a fall? And will this fall not lead to humility?
But, fancy coffee, some will scoff! What kind of thing is that to give up? How easy, how paltry? Ah, but have you tried Nespresso? No? Then you know not of what you speak.
And reading the Catechism? It comes out to a mere seventeen pages a day, when stretched throughout the whole of Lent. This is no great spiritual work.
Indeed, indeed. But if I did a great spiritual work, I might take pride in it, and that would undermine the whole point.
At the end of the Lenten season, I will have been a Catholic for an entire year. It will be quite an anniversary to celebrate. Please join me, if you have not already.