A few days ago, Lori and I were discussing what we were going to give up for Lent. I usually give up candy, chocolate, dessert, but I always bellyflop before the end. In any event, my heart isn’t in it this year.
I also thought about making a pilgrimage to go to different churches either in the City or out on the Island for Mass early in the morning or at noon. This idea sounds great, but after one or two work crises I’m sure that intention will derail, too.
I decided to give up cursing.
Going from an upbringing where “using the Lord’s name in vain” would have landed me in big trouble, I have deteriorated to relying on a battery of four-letter words to blow off steam and get me through the day. Cursing has become a bad habit.
Every time I slip up during Lent I will put $5 in the poor box. (A quarter wouldn’t be any kind of meaningful incentive–at five bucks I’ll at least think about it.)
I haven’t come up with an alternate word or phrase to replace cursing. I guess I’ll start by refraining from saying anything. My old spiritual director once said Lent isn’t giving up so much as going towards. By giving up cursing I’m hoping to go towards more reverence–and less cheapening–of God in my speech.