I don’t believe in giving up pizza for Lent

Stewardship Paths
By Julia Williams

JACKSON – Lent is designed to be a time for sacrifice and self-denial, the point of which is to deepen one’s relationship with God and strengthen habits of self-control.

What you ‘give up’ you can ‘offer up’ as a prayer, united with Christ’s sacrifice of the Cross. Fasting is a powerful way to make an impact on the world with your daily prayers, which is why I think giving up pizza is a cop-out.

Photo: BigStock

Is that harsh? Maybe. But I think Lent ought to be.

Unless you eat pizza every day, twice a day, you’re only going to be sacrificing it a few times a week, max! That means your powerful prayers for our broken world are diluted to two, maybe four incidences in seven days instead of the many more opportunities you could have had.

When someone gives up eating between meals, or the sweets they eat 3-4 times a day, they are tempted many times throughout the day to ‘give up’ and ‘give in.’ Then, at each temptation, they’re presented with an opportunity for prayer, for ‘offering up’ their sacrifice with Christ. When you’re hungry all the time, do what St. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians: “Pray constantly.”

Giving up something small or insignificant, like pizza or your weekly trip to the coffee shop, strikes me like Jesus getting all the way to the Cross and saying, “Nah, maybe next week. I’ve done enough today.”
When you love someone, you want to see them all the time. If you’re not with them, you’re thinking about them. You can’t wait to set things aside to spend time with them.

Isn’t your love for Jesus worth setting a few things aside? If you’re going to tell the Lord, who died for your sins, that you only want to pray and sacrifice for Him once or twice a week, I wonder if it would be better not to sacrifice at all. Prayer needs to be daily, or better yet constantly. Fasting is an amazing gift that Jesus taught us to allow us to grow closer to Him.

That’s why I’d never give up pizza for Lent. It’s far too seldom and is too easy to follow the letter of the law and order a calzone instead.

This Lent, think about how you can really challenge yourself with fasting. Fasting is prayer … and prayer is the Stewardship Way of Life.

Excerpts: catholicmom.com/Katie Kimball