Take a snow day this Lent (part two)

What should be “closed” this Lent?

Real snow days dawn with every television and radio station listing schools and workplaces that are closed. Perhaps our Lent should begin with a list of the non-essentials that rob us of time to give to God and our community.

Television and Internet: Give up some TV and Internet time and give yourself the gift of taking a half hour to journal, read a spiritual book, or pray the rosary.

E-mail and texting: Yes, these can be great ways to communicate, but they can also take us away from the people who are in our presence right now. Like all forms of communication, they need to be contained. Choose a block of time during the day that you will commit to no electronic communication. A candle burning quietly on the counter can be a reminder not to run to the computer for a quick check.

Shopping: Shopping as entertainment offers little in the area of spiritual satisfaction. Instead try spending more time outdoors, at museums, or visiting other places that help you look at the world beyond yourself. Consider using the money you save as part of your Lenten alms.

Unhealthy habits: Whether you gossip, smoke, eat, or drink too much, any unhealthy habit can get in the way of our becoming all that God intends. Lent can be an opportunity to clear our lives of some things that stand between God and us.

By Annemarie Scobey, from the archives of At Home with Our Faith newsletter