The Church of England has offered a modern alternative for this Season of Lent - The Carbon Fast. Can we be mindful for the next 40 days of our wasteful habits and make an effort to reduce our carbon footprint? Sure makes more sense to me than giving up chocolate.
I mean, how often do we need to berate ourselves to God for being human? I think Our Creator made us to be that way. When Jesus said, I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly, shouldn't we, the so-called "followers of Jesus," be about doing whatever promotes life, especially for those who live lives of scarcity?
Thomas Merton's Prayer is one of my favorites for Ash Wednesday:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.