Radio Show

Should I Give Something Up? Or Take Something On?

A caller participating in Lent for the first time after converting to Catholicism wonders if he is required to give something up, take something on, or both. Father Dave explains why we make these efforts during Lent, and what our actions represent as we lead up to Easter.

“The custom of giving something up for Lent is not regulated by the Church. If you don’t give something up or take something on, it’s not a sin. It is a devotional practice that originates from the grassroots of the people of God … I find that there is some value in choosing to deprive in some ways.”

RELATED: Why Do We Give Something Up for Lent? 

“A lot of this is patterned after Jesus’ time in the desert. The Gospels say that he was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights and he didn’t eat or drink … Obviously there is great value in choosing to take on some act of charitable service. Adding something in can be sacrifice as well, because you could be sacrificing your time in some way … I still find great Lenten value in depriving myself of something like something you like or getting rid of a bad habit.”

(Original Air 02-28-17)