[quote="Luna_Lovecraft, post:15, topic:271037"]
During a Lenten homily last year our priest said something that resonated with me. He said that Lent shouldn't be about giving things up (chocolate, television, CAF ;)); rather, he said that it should be about doing more, serving more, finding ways to contribute more.
So, my 2012 Lenten challenge for myself is going to be just that - figuring out how I can go above and beyond and do more for somebody else.
I've heard this suggestion before, and I can understand where it is coming from. But I would respectfully disagree with the priest who gave this homily. I think this would only obscure the reason for Lent. Lent is about abstinence and self denial. It is about going into the desert and getting rid of anything that comes between you and God. We are mirroring the time when Christ went into the desert for 40 days. Christ gave up all physical comforts when he went into the desert - his home, family, friends, even food and water. We don't have to go that far, although I've heard of people who sleep on the floor during Lent as a mortification. Turning off the TV and other worldly pursuits is certainly an important part of going to the desert, although of course all of this is completely voluntary. The Church leaves it up to each of us to make our own personal decision regarding Lenten mortification.
By "doing more", we are not working on cleaning the debris and garbage out of our lives. But once we have gone into the desert and trimmed down spiritually, then it is time to do more, serve more, etc. just as Christ did when he came out of the desert.