What am I giving up for Lent this year, and why?

by | Feb 20, 2023 | Formation

For Vincentians, the question: “What should I do for Lent?” is answered in solidarity with and for those who live in poverty.

In the presentation below, learn why St. Vincent insisted on the necessity of mortification, the self-discipline that stands against seeking only what pleases me in the here and now, for the sake of more important goals. This virtue is all about making choices, and the goals behind our choices.

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Quotes for Reflection

Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. (Pope Francis, Lenten Message, 2014)

Instead of giving up chocolate or alcohol for Lent, the pope seems to want us to give up our indifference to others. (from “Giving Up Indifference for Lent”, by Jim Wallis for the Huffington Post)

Lent is a time of prayer, of more intense prayer, more prolonged, more assiduous, more able to take on the needs of the brethren; intercessory prayer, to intercede before God for the many situations of poverty and suffering.” (Pope Francis, Homily, March 5, 2014)

It is a time of listening to the voice within, but also a time of paying attention to other people’s needs. (Henri Nouwen)

“Today […] everything is bought and sold. Everything is calculated and measured. Almsgiving helps us to experience giving freely, which leads to freedom from the obsession of possessing, from the fear of losing what we have, from the sadness of one who does not wish to share his wealth with others.” (Pope Francis, Homily, March 5, 2014)

“…we need to reflect on our willingness to sacrifice, or what we call in our own Vincentian tradition, the virtue of mortification. The root of the word mortification is to die to oneself, to sacrifice, to put the other first.” (Fr. G. Gregory Gay, CM, 2009 Lenten Letter)