As we approach the first days of Lent, in the Franciscan charism, we look to St. Francis’ example of detachment as our guide.

We know that when people decided to follow Christ and become disciples, He told them to take “no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick” (Matthew 10:10). They were to trust that God would provide for their needs.

Similarly, when Francis—a wealthy young man—truly turned his heart to Christ, he abandoned his wealth and, in fact, started a community who begged for what they needed.

Now, most of us are not called to be mendicants. Yet, Lent is a time where are each asked to detach from earthly things so that we might devote our heart more fully to Christ. When we give up things for Lent, we are trusting that God can fill our hearts much more completely than Netflix, a good glass of wine, or sweets can.

We have the opportunity to give things up for Lent not only as an act of penance, but also as a prayer to Christ that He would be first in our minds and in our hearts.

Have you decided what your Lenten practice will be? As you discern what to give up and/or what to add to your spiritual life, consider how this act will increase your dependence on the Lord.

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