However, it must also be mentioned that many can - and DO - give up their trivial stuff for Lent without ever having to progress beyond a focus on that act itself, which, ironically, can be a narcissistic act in itself. What this means is, if Lent is merely about "giving something up" which we will only begin devouring wholeheartedly again once we're done with the Lenten season, then we have done a great job at missing the whole point of Lent.
Lent is a call for us to return to the bigger picture of life, the whole meaning of and the reason for our faith as Catholics. It is a call to rekindle our identity as a People of God who have been united to Christ in the Passover Feast which He celebrated and which was consummated on calvary. Being a part of the People of God entails an intimacy of relationship with God and with His Church, and the pronouncements of Lent serve to remind us how we have often adulterated our relationship with God in this covenant that He has established with us. Lent, in short, is a call to return to God and to once again return to the promises we had exchanged with God in the covenant He had initiated with us: "I will be your God, and you will be My people".
Lent, in short, is a call to return to God and to once again return to the promises we had exchanged with God in the covenant He had initiated with us:
At Lent, we are reminded about how we are so often "selflessly" distracted by the needs of other people whom we care for and in whose lives we have vested interests. We are also reminded of how we often forget to abide by the Code of Living to which we are bound by virtue of our relationship with God. The whole point is, we often forget what it means to be the People of God. We forget, we forget, we forget. Lent is an invitation to remember once again. It is a call to go back to the way of life to which we have once been called and to which God continuously calls us.
It is so possible for us to fast from meat, to give up our social media habits, to detach ourselves from our usual communication habits, to fast from swearing, or to even say more prayers or to go to Church more often -- and to STILL miss out on the posture to which Mother Church is calling us throughout the season of Lent.
Ultimately, if we intend to just go right back into the practices that we have given up for Lent once the season is over, we might as well just forget it, because more likely than not, we have missed the point. If the new 40-day rhythm we have established is not going to propel us into a new way of life, a life of constant self-examination and conversion, then no amount of meat that we give up is ever going to do us any good.
Give up your Facebooking and your Twitting and your Whatsapping and your Line-ing if you must, but remember, the Church is ultimately calling you to something greater, something bigger. In Lent, the Gospel compels us to return to our identity as God's People. If we find ourselves having new rights to brag about how many hours of Facebooking we have sacrificed during Lent or how many pounds of meat we have forgone, I'm afraid we're not quite ready to appreciate the depth of the Easter that follows. Because come Easter, at the glorious Vigil, when we celebrate the Feast of Feasts, we will be greeted with a series of readings from Scripture retelling the story of how we became God's People.