Out-of-uniform “dress down” days are a common way for Catholic schools to incentivize charitable giving among their students. This month’s dress down day at my children’s grade school benefitted the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, so the school was collecting canned goods instead of money.
During Lent, the Church asks us to prepare for Christ’s passion and resurrection by making small sacrifices, traditionally in the form of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. But why do we sacrifice? What is a sacrifice, anyway?
“What are you giving up for Lent?” In my youth, this question was fraught with the anxiety of choosing which I would rather give up for forty days: ice cream or chocolate. More recently though, I have tried to embrace the ascetic element of this liturgical season as an opportunity to examine how God is inviting me to let go and who God is inviting me to become.