Lent is often viewed as a time of prayer and penance, when we give-up sometime like chocolate for 40 days.
At the same time, Lent can be an opportunity for us to curb any excessive habits we have, especially if we have become slaves to modern-day consumerism.
St. John Paul II mentioned this spiritual practice during his first message for Lent in 1979:
Going without things is to free oneself from the slaveries of a civilization that is always urging people on to greater comfort and consumption, without a thought even for the preservation of our environment, which is the common heritage of humanity.
The world tells us that we need the “next best thing,” whether it is the latest iPhone, or the newest electric car.
However, we don’t have to succumb to the world’s view of happiness, and can utilize Lent to step back and examine our own lives, seeing how attached we are to the things of this world.
St. John Paul II explains that we can also go one step further, “Going without things does not consist only of giving away what we do not need; sometimes it also consists of giving away what we do need, like the widow in the Gospel who knew that what she was giving away was already a gift to her from God.”
As we embrace the holy season of Lent, may we examine our own lives and allow ourselves to be freed from any excessive attachments we may have.