25 February 2009

Self Denial

The Ash Wednesday homily I heard today focused on self denial (appropriate given that today marks the beginning of Lent, but that's besides the point). It got me thinking, and it ties in nicely with yesterday's post about entitlement.

I believe that Western society is very much an entitlement based society. We are also a society that very rarely denies ourselves anything (as the current state of the economy demonstrates all too well.) And I think those two things go hand in hand; I don't think we would feel entitled if we practiced some self denial. We are so used to getting everything we want, as soon as we want, and we rarely wait for anything, and I think that attitude is hurting us all.

So many problems would be avoided if we just practiced a little self denial: the credit "crisis", the obesity epidemic, the genocide of the unborn etc. All of these problems have arisen in our society because we are never told no. If we lived within our means, people wouldn't be having their homes foreclosed upon and our major corporations wouldn't be collapsing. If we said no to that piece of chocolate cake (or my own personal craving, iced tea) we wouldn't be endangering our health by overindulging. If we practiced self denial and saved sex for a committed married relationship, we wouldn't be murdering our children. There are many other examples, but I don't want to belabor the point.

Self denial is a good thing. It's not an easy thing, and I know it's something I can never accomplish without God's grace, but it is important. If we learn to practice self-denial with the little things, we will have the ability to say no to the big things, but it does take practice.

The season of Lent is a penitential one, preparing ourselves for Easter and seeking to deepen our relationship with God. My earnest prayer for us all is that we will practice self-denial in some way this Lenten season, and use that self denial to allow God to move deeper into our lives, because that's the only way the major problems of our world will be solved.

Welcome to Lent, and God Bless.

1 comment:

muebles alcala de henares said...

Well, I do not really imagine this is likely to work.