“…et in pulverem reverteris.” Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return–a sobering reflection, yes, but important as we enter the Lenten season. I’ll be honest; I loathed Lent when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see its usefulness. The saying about dust reminds us that, hey, we’re not going to be around forever, and we really should decide where we want to spend the afterlife. How does Lent accomplish that?
Lent helps us to better control our wills and desires, to say “no” to something we really, really want. By strengthening control of our wills this way, we are better equipped to conform them the way we want…the way to follow Christ. But how does sacrificing that luscious chocolate doughnut covered in sprinkles help us follow Christ? It’s just a little doughnut; what difference does it make? Well, by saying “no” to little things, we get practice saying “no” to big things–it works like exercise; we start with smaller exercises first and work our way up to the more strenuous movements. So may you have beneficial exercising this Lent.