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She Gave Up More of Herself as a Lenten Sacrifice

As a form of Lenten discipline, she decided to do something that would benefit others.

Hands holding each other during Lent; Getty Images
Credit: PeopleImages.com - #1633309
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During my childhood, each Ash Wednesday brought with it the big question: “What are you giving up for Lent?” Most of the time it was candy, and the money saved by eliminating trips to Mrs. Squire’s candy store went into my mite box. Being deprived of sweets was painful then, but what I remember now is the warm glow that flooded my heart as I carried my jingling mite box to Sunday school on Easter Sunday.

When I became an adult, however, giving up candy was no real sacrifice—and because I had a job and was earning a salary, parting with some of it for a Lenten offering was a fairly simple and painless gesture.

Thus one year I decided that in order to have a more adult type of Lenten discipline, I would try giving of myself, to do something that would benefit others.

READ MORE: What to Give Up for Lent: 15 Meaningful Suggestions

The opportunity came soon when a friend asked me to volunteer one evening a week to visit patients at Bellevue Hospital. Sometimes it was difficult, especially during the cold winter months when the thought of curling up with a good book in my warm apartment was more inviting. But I would go to the hospital, and when I saw the smiles on the faces of the patients, many of whom never had any visitors at all, I’d realize how worthwhile this giving of myself could be. I learned more about the true meaning of Lent. And, once again, just as in my childhood, a warm glow flooded my heart.

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