Lent about more than trading burgers for shrimp in restaurant line

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The final float is gone. All of the people are no longer in the streets with their masks and purple, green and gold attire. The beads, trinkets, parties and festivities have departed with them – gone until this time next year.

Mardi Gras is officially finished – on its hiatus until Spring 2015. As the clock struck midnight on Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras’ exit also marks the formal beginning of the Lenten season, which is an important week on the Catholic calendar.

We, at the Tri-Parish Times, do not endorse one religion over another. Whether a person does or does not acknowledge Lent is of no concern to our staff.

But because we live in a community that is comprised heavily of people within the Catholic faith, we have decided to present to our readers a few thoughts as we ascent toward Easter.

We believe that the true meaning of the Lenten season is sacrifice, more specifically about doing something to show that Jesus had an impact among one’s life.

We believe that the Lenten season is about more than merely giving up red meat, while devouring shrimp or fish instead.

We believe that this is a season of remembrance – a time when (if Christian) we make sacrifices to try and get closer to the things we deem important in life.

Instead of foregoing chocolate (and being miserable because of it), one could possibly opt to spend a little more time with family.

Don’t want to bypass meat on Friday? That’s your decision. Who are we to judge? But a good alternative would possibly be to spend time with a sick relative or to volunteer a little more time reading the Bible.

No matter how one chooses to spend their time, there just seems like there should be a little more to this “sacrifice” than giving up beef to instead eat all-you-can-eat fish at a seafood joint.

How difficult is that, anyway? Especially in a food-rich place like Louisiana.

So we’d like to challenge our Christians to instead spend the next 40 days focusing on self-betterment and doing things to show love and support to others.

We believe that this would be a more impressive display of sacrifice than passing on a Snickers bar.