HALLMARK THEOLOGY: Lenten Sacrifice

HALLMARK THEOLOGY: Lenten Sacrifice

[When I was in college seminary, we students sometimes made snide comments about “Hallmark Theology,” which was something easy to understand, syruppy sweet, memorable, and small enough to fit on a greeting card. Now that I am older, wiser, and a lot less cynical, I actually enjoy some hallmark theology. Of course, as with choosing greeting cards, time and care are needed in the selection process.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent.

This is yet another nice thought by Anonymous who is sometimes referred to by his first and middle names — Author Unknown. Since we don’t know who wrote it, the message gets all our focus. And, as always, what means nothing to one might speak volumes to another.]

What Should I Give Up for Lent?
Chocolate? – Ice Cream? – Soda?
Many of us try to be more disciplined for Lent and give up something that we really like.  That’s great!  Fasting has always been an important tradition of Lent.  This year however, let us also consider other things that we can give up.

Give up complaining – Focus on gratitude
Philippians 2:14&15 – Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure…
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

Give up bitterness – Turn to forgiveness
Ephesians 4:31 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Give up worry – Trust in God
Matthew 6:25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… who by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Give up discouragement – Be full of hope
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you: he will never leave you or forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Give up hatred – Return good for evil
1 John 2:9 – Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
Luke 6:27 – “But I tell you who hear me; Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

Give up anger – Be more patient
Matthew 5:22 – But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.
Proverbs 15:18 – A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.

Give up gossiping – Control your tongue
Psalm 34:13 – Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
Proverbs 21:23 – He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

http://godslittleacre.net/spiritualgrowth/what_should_I_give_up_for_lent.html

Cartoon source: http://catholiccartoonblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/lenten-struggle.html

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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