Do Moms Really Need to Do Lent?

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Funny mom and kid pic

One young mom of many caused a stir a few years ago by asking, “Do moms really need to give up anything for Lent?” Lest you reject the question out of hand, let’s look at the sacrifices required of a young mom of many, who is either pregnant or breastfeeding (or both) pretty much all of the time. No sleep, no caffeine, no alcohol, no makeup or fancy clothes, no waistline, no alone time, and very little adult conversation. Is there anything left to give up?

The answer is a resounding yes, according to posts like 100 Things To Do For Lent. Even when your body is giving its utmost and your time is is filled to the minute, there are always bad habits you can get rid of for Lent. Gossiping, complaining, sarcasm, negativity, self-pity, general snarkiness? We’re all guilty of at least one of these, at least some of the time.

A cheerful smile, especially when you don’t feel like it, can be the best sacrifice of all. St. Therese of Lisieux advised, “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” A mom’s cheerful smile can lift the spirits of her entire family.

Lent is actually the perfect time for cheerfulness. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us, “when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward.” (Mt 6:16) Lent is the perfect time to ask ourselves how much we really sacrifice with a smile.

Copyright 2016 Karee Santos
Image courtesy of morgueFile

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About Author

Karee Santos is a happily married mom of six and the founder of the Can We Cana? blog. She and her husband Manuel Santos MD authored The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime (Ave Maria Press, 2016). They also write a monthly marriage advice column on CatholicMom.com called “Marriage Rx.”

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