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KEEP PUSHING FORWARD AND NEVER GIVE UP



We are now in the fourth week of the Lent season (Laetare Sunday), and many of us are actively observing the three pillars of Lent: almsgiving (work of charity), fasting (self-denial), and prayer. However, some of us may have lost sight of the spirit of Lent. It is important to remember that Lent is a time of spiritual exercise and self-discipline. We should avoid becoming complacent, and resist slipping back into old habits and behaviours.

 

During this second half of Lent - which leads us closer to Pascha (Easter) - we focus on purifying our spiritual life. It is a time to engage in spiritual warfare against the forces of evil and “stand firm against the devil, and he will run away from you; come close to God, and He will come close to you,” (James 4: 7-8). As we experience Lent, we remain open to the voice of the Lord and avoid becoming hardened in our hearts, (cf. Ps 95: 8). God will guide us and reveal His presence to us in various ways.



Lent is a time when people often think of giving up something as a form of sacrifice. However, it is important to remember that it is not only about self-denial but also about giving up certain things to benefit others. For instance, we can save money from our meals or beverages and use it to support those in need. While it is beneficial to fast from negative habits such as gossiping, selfishness, anger, arguing, revenge, and using hurtful words, we should also strive to be kind, forgiving, compassionate, and patient towards others. By doing so, we can cultivate positive habits that can have a lasting impact on ourselves and those around us.

 

The excessive use of electronic devices has become a common issue in today’s world. On average, approximately 30% of adults are constantly online with their gadgets. Studies have also shown that spending 4.5 to 6 hours a day playing video games or watching immoral content on TikTok/YouTube/Facebook can increase the risk of depression, and contribute to other health issues.

 

Therefore, being more disciplined during Lent and reducing screen time is important. Instead of spending time on devices, it would be better to spend more time on spiritual pursuits such as meditation or daily prayers, and other beneficial activities like getting involved in charitable work. Remember, your time is your most valuable asset, and God would appreciate you using it wisely.

 

It is common practice during Lent, to give up unpleasant addictions or attitudes as a way of responding to Jesus’ invitation to deny ourselves and be one with His passion. However, it is imperative to continue being disciplined in our daily lives - both spiritually and physically - even after Lent is over. This will help us grow closer to Jesus Christ, become more worthy disciples, and prevent us from slipping back into our old ways of life. Let us strive to live a life of holiness, and remain committed to our spiritual and physical well-being.



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