Lent is not Self-help

Recently I came across a sermon online given by a very wise priest, whose explanation of the stated purpose of lent directly incriminated me. I am one of those people who enjoys becoming a better person, who enjoys making my work more efficient, being healthy, and even learning things. I also would like to become less of a sinner and better at living and following Christian lenten practices. But none of these things, states this priest, are the purpose of lent. 

Lent is about detaching ourselves from everything that is not God, and not about being more efficient, being healthier, learning things, or even about following certain lenten practices. To make lent about these things evidences an attachment to them rather than to God. Yes, even from our lenten plans. If God asks of us to change our lenten resolutions, we should.

Simply stated God is calling us to closer relationship with him more through our lenten plans, and if our plans get in the way, are more about us than about him, or if we find another way to relationship with during lent - change your plans. I have lived many lents where my resolutions were merely a time to double down on those resolutions I made during the rest of the year, with spiritual twist: to work out more, to eat more healthily, or to focus more on my studies or even to pray more.

But after listening to this video, I realise each of these things, without the context of prioritizing my relationship to God above these very things, is the very attachment we are called to jettison during this season. 

If you'd like, have a listen, and have a blessed and fruitful lent!


Memento Mori!
Remember your death!