Yes, I am aware that Lent ended quite a while ago, 50 days ago, to be exact, as Pentecost Sunday is today (Happy Birthday, Church!). But too often we leave our Lenten practices behind and forget to continue reflecting. So I am asking myself this question- what did Lent mean to me this year, and what lasting effect has the practice had on my life since Easter?
This past Lenten season, I focused on several different practices, both of which are somehow connected to my Catholic school roots (13 years of it!). Ever since I can remember, Lent has meant giving something up: chocolate, sweets, anything that I am used to indulging in without thought.
This year, it was coffee. This was quite a challenge, given that not only do I really enjoy good coffee, but also rely on it to get me through the day at points. Falling asleep while someone is pouring out their heart to you in therapy is not to be advised 😉 Alas, I faced my dependence on coffee, and instead relied on prayer, a quick yoga practice, an occasional tea…and sheer will. While difficult, this was good for me. Very good.
Since Lent has ended, I admit that I have returned to my almost-daily cup of coffee, with a new realization that I don’t need it the way I thought I did. I enjoy it, yes, but I don’t need it. I enjoy the smell of it, the process of brewing it or the social aspects of ordering and sitting in a cafe. But it feels more like a treat than a necessity.
So as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, may we continue to rely on the Spirit to guide us and fill us each day! May we continue to be aware of our dependencies and addictions aside from God, letting go of things that get in the way.