Today Lent begins with Ash Wednesday.

Lent is one of my favorite times of the year, what with the opportunity to direct the interior conversion and cleansing that are a part of the customs. This is an attitude that I only adopted after I sobered up in 2002 and returned to the Church.

It isn’t necessary to “give up” something for Lent, but that’s the easiest way to focus on your interior conversion.

This conversion is namely the result of a successful struggle against your tendency to sin or partake of pleasurable things. Nothing inherently wrong with pleasurable things unless one is inordinately attached to them and places them above God and family. By giving them up you are allowing yourself to direct your struggle against a particular want or need and therefore can make the best effort to grow spiritually and closer to God. To give something up and then be enormously happy when Lent is over so you can take up again whatever was abstained from misses the point. The lesson of abstaining from something might not have been learned if the objective was just to make it through Lent.

I wrote some neat stuff last year on Lent in this post . In addition to all that, one thing I heard on my local Catholic radio station was that you could prayerfully read the daily Mass readings during Lent. They are excellent guides to conversion. You can get them at this blog, at the top of the sidebar. Read them slowly, with a eye and ear towards applying their lessons.

Have a fruitful Lent!

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"