What is Your Level of Sacrifice for Lent?

Momservation: Giving up sugar is a level of deprivation that I don’t think God wants me to suffer.

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LentTomorrow is Ash Wednesday.

As a practicing Catholic in guilt only and more of the Mardi Gras variety of worshiper (I’m just here for the party), it’s always entertaining listening to what my Catholic friends are planning to give up for Lent.

You have your Luxury Indulgence Group. These are the lightweights who love talking about what they gave up for Lent. This group gives up things like chocolate, sweets, soda, or a nightly glass of wine. They make a really big deal of making this sacrifice, but we all know it’s not nearly on the same level as the more hardcore Addictions group  who are giving up true vices. (More on them later.) The LI group is also the most likely group to cave and cheat, really pumping up that it was a big deal that they even tried to make such a huge personal sacrifice.

The Addictions Group. These are the badasses of Lent who give up things like nicotine, gambling, alcohol, or caffeine knowing it will most likely cause them physical pain until they come out the other side (if they even do at all). This group uses this time of repentance to take stock of their life. They know it’s time to make a change for the better and with God as their witness they’re jumping into the deep end of Lent. The A group is looking their personal weaknesses in the face, grabbing the hand of Lent, and saying, “Let’s do this b**ch!” They do it quietly (in case the fail), but they are irritable and angry as hell so try to avoid them.

6-Week Diet Group. This is the short cut group who hopes to use the discipline and sacrifice of Lent and the higher level disappointment of God to give up carbs, sugar, hydrogenated oils, and trans fats to lose a few pounds. It’s the shoot for the moon land in the stars approach to Lent because even if they don’t make it the whole six weeks they might still lose a few pounds. The 6W group is usually made up of people who will try anything not to exercise and still lose weight. They’re a combination of the LI and A groups because they’re both vocal and grumpy about their choice of deprivation.

Superficial Personal Sacrifice Group. This is the group that tries to make you think they have more skin in the game than the LI group. They give up for Lent things like shopping at Whole Foods, Starbucks coffee, Netflix, or eating out five nights a week because they’re recognizing a dependency. The SPS group is the white people problems group. Because as much as this group thinks going without free range chicken, a half-caff double pump vanilla latte with skim milk, or a ready supply of Orange is the New Black is a great personal sacrifice—it is nothing like going without food, electricity, or a car because you can’t afford it. The SPS group will have you believe they are in excruciating pain for their choice of self-denial and will probably quit citing loss of stimulus for the economy.

The Social Media Group. These are the people who give up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or SnapChat for Lent thinking that their absence will be noticeable and admirable. Like the SPS group they have identified a dependency but refuse to believe they have a problem (although they believe their sacrifice is on par with the Addiction group). The SM group will most likely stick with their “fast” for six weeks just so they can go back on social media to post: “I’m back! Did you miss me?” Nobody will notice they were gone and everyone will know that they really just turned on their privacy controls to hide they were still lurking the news feeds.

Well, good luck everyone! You’re all better Catholics than me. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much…


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