By Cory Busse
This morning, my 10-year-old showed me an infographic on Lent.
There’s nothing quite like the innocence of a child and an illustrated guide to fasting and abstinence to remind me of all the reasons no one genuinely looks forward to this time of year.
Here are six reasons to hate how Lent forces us to be our best selves.
1. It reminds me that I’m not the center of the universe.
Give me Advent any day. Advent is fun. There’s a hustle and bustle about it. A person can really get swept up in the preparation and the lights and the magic and the promise of a new Baby Jesus. A Catholic — even a good, lifelong Catholic who went to eight years of Catholic elementary school and graduated from a reputable Catholic university — can get blissfully distracted by things like presents and trees and the familiar, comforting hymns at Mass. Advent is my jam. Lent has no such bells or whistles. Full of dirges and reflection, Lent only serves to distract me from my own self-absorption. It is — by a factor of a full two weeks — longer than Advent without any of the glib, sparkly diversions to take my mind off of Jesus. At least in the lead-up to Christmas, I can feel good about myself by dropping some change in a red kettle without really investing in a spirit of giving. Lent doesn’t allow me that kind of room to take my eye off the ball. Lent persistently reminds me that it’s not about me, but that it’s about Jesus and what his death and resurrection mean. And what fun is that?