…The reluctance to accept Lent as a season of joy seems to come from a misunderstanding of what it means to offer something up. The thought of having to choose some form of penance and faithfully adhere to that choice casts the beginning of Lent in a negative light. Both young and old ask ‘why do I have to do this’? Does God really care if I eat meat, chocolate or candy…? Many people dread giving something up because of personal failure. Without knowledge of the true purpose of sacrifice, failure shouldn’t be a surprise. If we don’t really know why we’re doing something, we are sure to stop doing it.
The… act of offering something up has nothing to do with proving something to God.
Finite, limited creatures could never prove anything to our infinite Creator. Rather,
to offer something as a way of expressing our love for Christ, and our gratitude for His suffering and death. It isn’t the meat or the candy or the drink that matters,
it’s the human heart.
The choice we make
is not a rejection of something good;
it is an opportunity
to appreciate more intensely what Christ has done for us.’
From The Little Way of Lent by Fr. Gary Caster