In Summary

lent goals. Churches filled to capacity on Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent among Christians, especially the Catholics and Orthodox. Each one prepares for lent in various ways with different goals and intentions. Some people share unrealistic goals they set, writes PHIONAH NASSANGA.

Monica Lubega, a Christian at St Thomas of Aquino’s Catholic Church Mulago, says before you decide to fast, put into consideration the people around you. Unknowingly, your fast might harm others.

Lubega says some people decide to fast as a family for a financial breakthrough, and peace. However, if you decide on the kind of sacrifice to make without the consent of other family members, then you are unrealistic.

“During this season, some people decide to leave the comfort of their beds and sleep on the floor for 40 days. If you are married, you need to first consult your spouse. Deciding without their consent means you are denying them their conjugal right. The two of you need to first agree,’’ Lubega says.

Furthermore, she says foregoing some foods does not mean the other people should not have them. If meat has been a constant on your Sunday menu, then buy that same amount and give it away to some other people because Lent is not about you alone but the sacrifice you make for others.
However, she notes that much as you have issues that you need God to work on, also keep others in mind.

Aim to lose weight
The Rev Fr Edward Kabanda, the parish priest of Kiwamirembe, hints on those who decide to use Lent for bodily gains.
“For example, fasting to lose weight,” Fr Kabanda shares. He mentions that some people will decide to fast food pretending to be fasting yet at the back of their mind is weight loss for the 40 days. “By doing so, you are giving a chance to the world to know that you are fasting as everyone will realise your change in size. During Lent not even your immediate neighbour needs to know about your fasting,” the priest explains.
“Any sacrifice you make should not be misguided or raise any questions from those you interact with.”

Failing to sacrifice
Josephine Nanyonga, a choir member at Teresa Ministries, says some people opt to forego all meals and break their fast in the evening. When you stay home, instead of keeping the food they prepared to have it later that day, give it to those that need it. “By doing so I think you have not made any sacrifices because the food has been kept to be eaten later,” Nanyonga says.

Making temporary Lent intentions
Ivan Bogere, a teacher at Buddo Secondary School, says during this time, many are willing to change.
Unfortunately, after three weeks or soon after the 40 days, you go back to your old ways, turning a deaf ear to intentions and promises of transformation. Some people are quarrelsome, others are never contented with what they have. To tame such habits, someone will claim to fast quarrelling.
“I think quarrelling is a habit that needs to be prayed for not fasted for. If you are quarrelsome, you might try to avoid it but will you be able to maintain it thereafter?” Bogere wonders
However, do not intentionally break your promise. If you do, you are ruining the whole point of Lent.

Sticking to resolutions
The Rev Fr Lawrence Ssekamatte of Busega parish, says the only way you can stick to your Lent goals is to follow the two most important pillars, which is prayer and almsgiving.
“We are human beings and because of that we on many occasions find ourselves at fault, thus distancing us from God’s love and will. However, during this Lent the only way we can stick to our goals is to pray for God’s intervention more than ever, before,” he explains.

Jesus was tempted during his fasting in the desert but what helped Him overcome was the fact that He kept in prayer. Fr he says giving to the needy is an act of mercy and helps tone down your heart. Knowing you are in a better position than that other person gives you more reasons to stick to God’s will and fasting goals for you would ever wish to be in any of their condition.