Somewhat lapsed Catholic here on Ash Wednesday. I saw somewhat because there are so many tenets of the religion that I believe in wholeheartedly and yet others ( their stance on women’s roles, divorce, and abortion, to name a few) that I wholeheartedly disagree with. Pope Francis’ views and public opinions on some of these topics have given me hope during a time when I’m questioning my spiritual life, what that means to me, how I practice it, and so on.
Even though I don’t make it to church every Sunday ( I have opinions on this as well), I hold my spiritual life as an important part of who I am. I pray on a regular basis and hold many of my Catholic beliefs as important in my life, though as I’m learning and exploring about religions, I’ve come to see that so many of these tenets are more Christian beliefs than Catholic specifically.
Every year for Lent I choose to give up something and many years that thing I’m abstaining from sticks. When I was in high school I gave up soda for Lent, something that, minus a bad migraine that only a cold Coca-Cola will fix or a ginger ale to sooth a tummy ache, has stuck. I gave up Candy Crush Saga two years ago and haven’t played since ( or even been interested!). This year, I’m abstaining from pizza because it has become too much of a meal crutch for Q and I ( though we had it last night and it was DELICIOUS).
This year, in addition to no pizza, I’m also trying to follow a bit of what Pope Francis said on the topic of Lent as well. I’m going to really work on my kindness- to others, to myself, to the world around me. I want to turn my head to indifference not just because I care about people, but because I realize I could care so much more. It’s something I hope to make mindful of over the next forty days instead of being so picky about not eating meat on Fridays ( a silly man made rule, for the record). And like the soda habit I kicked many years ago, I hope being more compassionate and kind is a habit that sticks past Lent.