Fight the New Drug

Fight the New Drug Video: My porn recovery story

***To see my featured talk "How Love Defeats Porn" given at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. click here. ***

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm doing for Lent: Son's Side Up

Last year in Costa Rica, I went around to each classroom at San Francis and gave a presentation about Lent or Cuaresma,  In these classroom visits, I challenged the students to do something for Lent which involved prayer, fasting (or sacrifice), and some type of service or charitable action.  What some of these kids end up writing down humbled me: giving up video games, junk food, chocolate, TV, Facebook, stop gossiping, stop cursing, get along with a sibling, spend more time with a grandparent, adding five minutes at the beginning and end of their days in prayer, or my favorite and most unique that someone wrote: take the time to apologize and say, "I'm sorry" to someone.

This kid is Smiles-R-Us
This year, I don't know about you, but Lent kind of crept up on me. I haven't really been thinking about it and today, Ash Wednesday showed up, and I still wasn't sure what my promise was going to be.  Then one of my best friends told me what he was going to do.  It kind of made me laugh.

"I'm going to work on smiling."

He told me he doesn't do it enough (or at all), that it has to do with a lot of things, including mistrust, and he needs to work on it.  I commended him.  He actually inspired what will become one of my Lenten promises.

The other week, I wrote a post called Sexual Freedom which was about my answer to some hot topics about sexual temptation.  I'm a big believer that for any sin, the best way to avoid it is not to concentrate on it, but to focus our lives on better things.  Take pornography for example.  I don't succeed at not looking at it by sitting at a computer each day and saying to myself, "I'm not going to look at porn, I'm not going to look at porn, I'm not going to look at porn."  That may work for the Little Engine That Could, but I guarantee that won't work for most guys.  The secret, I've found, again this could apply to any sin, is something my 'ol priest back at CUA Fr. Bob told me, "Fill your cup."  Meaning, if I fill my cup with better things in my life to the point where I don't have room for anything else, I won't have have room for the crap life tempts me with. 

It's hard to think this guy was a
Debbie Downer
Back to Lent.  How did Jesus take on the desert for 40 days and 40 nights?  He had God with him, OK, through prayer, yes.  But today's the first time I thought about that he probably didn't concentrate on his inconveniences or how crappy his life was.  He probably never said, "Oh woe is me.  This sucks."  I bet, and this is my light-bulb-moment of the day, he instead focused on the brighter, sunny side up of life.[Insert foreshadow of pun here.]

So that's what I'm going to do for Lent.  For the next 40 days, I'm going to focus on finding one thing or moment per day that brings me joy. To me, I feel the point of Lent is to humble ourselves, remind ourselves of Christ's sacrifice for us, and in return, better our own lives.  That's why we make these promises or sacrifices. This time, instead of focusing on the sacrifice, I'm going to focus on the positive.  Last November, I was inspired by Catholic Volunteer Network's conference on the importance of JOY in our lives, especially inspired by Fr. James Martin and his talk about how joy is at the core of our spiritual lives.

I'm going to take a picture of this thing that bring me joy each day for 40 days, and I'm going to put it on here on my blog, one day at a time.  Each time I take that picture, I'm going to reflect on Jesus, his sacrifice, and thank Him. And I'm going to call this series, yep, you might guessed it...

Son's Side Up.


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