As a Master Gardener, I have developed an appreciation for the practice of pruning. Sometimes, I prune away plants carefully in order to protect the integrity of the landscaping design. Other times, I am bold in order to promote growth where it has grown stagnant. This may be why I like Lent so much. It is my favorite liturgical season. It is an intentional time of year to prune away habits that have prevented me from being the best version of myself. It provides the time to focus on new
growth through the three pillars of praying, fasting, and almsgiving.
Prayer helps us to connect with Jesus to truly appreciate what He has done for us and continues to do for us throughout our lives. He suffered so that we do not. Fasting helps us to remove those things from our lives that get in the way of us being the best versions of ourselves. It is more than just giving up chocolate or other tempting food. We are called to examine our lives and work to eliminate the obstacles that prevent us from loving God as we should and loving others as we should. Try to fast from bothersome behaviors that create conflict and discord. Many of us choose to fast from food to appreciate suffering and identify with the poor. Our temporary suffering due to a growling belly can be a reason to turn to God in prayer. Almsgiving helps us to support others who are not as fortunate as us. We have so much while others have little. Almsgiving requires a level of sacrifice much like fasting does. Take the money you would spend on something frivolous and unnecessary and use it to share with those in need.