During Lent, I try to honor the 40 days of praying, fasting and almsgiving by doing something from each of these three pillars. We often only think about the things we can give up during Lent, like chocolate or TV. While that is all well and good, it is important to focus on why we give them up.
There is supposed to be sacrifice involved. It is supposed to be hard - much like the sacrifice Christ made for us. Our fasting should bring us closer to God. There is the rub! Fasting is meant to eliminate those things that get in the way of us being the best versions of ourselves in service to God and one another.
This links to prayer. If our sacrifice is truly meant to bring us closer to God and others, there has to be an element of prayer so that we stay laser focused on the outcome. Does giving up chocolate do that for you?
Once you begin fasting and praying, almsgiving is giving back as an alternative to what you are giving up. So if you are sacrificing, you should fill the void with fruitful actions to bring you closer to God and others.
The struggle to fast, pray and give is real. It is yet another opportunity to align yourself with your fellow Catholics to ban together and support one another, not in misery, but in sacrifice to our Lord and Savior.