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February 24, 2009

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Paula in MN

You don't want to know what I have to give up for Lent. Trust me, you don't want to know.

Deacon Matt

Over my years in seminary I have chosen to give up desserts during Lent. At first blush that might seem rather silly for a grown man (never mind a seminarian), but of course circumstances alter cases.

In our seminary we have a wonderful kitchen staff (it makes a huge difference when one is cooking because one loves to cook rather than cooking for the paycheck). Among this talented staff is Kathy, who is known as the "Queen of Desserts." She can make anything, and daily makes, from scratch, the most awesome desserts I have ever encountered. Every kind of cake, pie, cheesecake, turnover, cookie, ice cream treat - you name it. Every day. Even during Lent. It takes a great deal of will power to forego these prominently displayed wonders, and doing so is a very public, very tangible reminder of the seemingly small sacrifice one is making.

Of course, the sacrifices we make during Lent are meant to be small signs of greater spiritual realities. The underlying idea is self-denial, leading to sacrifice for the good of self or of another. That's the sort of idea that can unite a family in a permanent way. And our Lenten sacrifices should lead us to repentance as well - a change of heart and life that benefits our body and soul.

May all our Lenten sacrifices be as fruitful as God intends them to be.

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