Lenten Promises

Ash Wednesday is one of the most important holy days of the liturgical calendar. This particular day marks the beginning of Lent, a season of worship and fasting.

Ash Wednesday comes from the old Jewish tradition of penance. This process includes the wearing of ashes on the forehead, which symbolize the dust from which God made the human race. The day brings about feelings of preoccupation throughout the Dowling community as to if the ashes on everyone’s foreheads resemble more of a thumbprint rather than a cross.

However, we must keep in mind the true importance of this holy day: the beginning of a 46-day journey closer to God. In order to achieve true absolution and correspondence with the Father, it is common practice among Catholics to sacrifice some sort of bad habit or offer something up to the Lord. A few students were willing to share what their Lenten promises:

“I am giving up snacking and swearing. Swearing has been the most difficult because every time I slip up, I force myself to do 30 calf raises. Yesterday I did about 1,000” –Hank Weresh, 12

“I decided to do something extra for God. In my car, I have turned on the Catholic radio station rather than listening to music like I normally would” –Sarah Shadle, 12

“I am taking a break from Facebook. It has been surprisingly refreshing! I feel like I have so much more time on my hands” –Mrs. Pierce, English Teacher

“What I am giving up for Lent is going to be an obstacle in my life, but I am giving up complaining and drinking absolutely no pop” –Rozzie Heuckendorf, 10

“I am fasting from Pancheros. I used to eat this 2 or 3 times a week. It has been hard but I have kept it up so far” –Niall Moore, 11

This is just a small glimpse into the sacrifices being made by the students and teachers of Dowling Catholic this Lent. As we roll past week 3 of this journey to Easter, it may be time to check in with how well your personal promises have been coming along. Maybe it’s not going so well and you need to make adjustments to your sacrifice, maybe it’s much easier than you anticipated and time to do more, or maybe everything is going along successfully. It is important to remember that Lent is a season with the opportunity for self growth, rather than a time to be scared away by the intimidation of failure.