From a Creighton Student's Perspective
April 13, 2011
Senior, Nursing Major
"'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.'"-Daniel 3:95
Freedom is far more than being able to do what we want when we want. Being governed by each urge and temptation of the day is no freedom at all; rather we are being enslaved to these desires. God calls us to look deeper than our own desires, practicing the Spirit’s gifts of temperance and fortitude, in order to transcend our own desires. It is in mastering temptation that true freedom lies.
This is so different from the philosophy that we are sold each day, especially here in college. To give in to these urges is a temptation in itself; made even more challenging by the fact that so many people around us believe this philosophy to be correct. It has been a fact of the world since the fall of man in Eden that we are constantly bombarded by temptation each day.
Lent is the opportunity we take each year to fight these ideas. It is a time of discipline and renewal. As we each take a chance to give up something we enjoy, the reward is self-control and a command over one’s desires. In doing so, we can break the bonds of sin that bind us as slaves to the world and be welcomed into the Lord’s house as sons or daughters.
This Lent I decided to take a few days a week to fast in the same way we are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. It is a challenge I have taken on before and really benefited from. Accepting hunger and avoiding unneeded food allows me to practice self-control in a small way. (Although when someone brings cookies to a meeting, the sacrifice does not seem so small.) In breaking way from this one thing, I find it easier to exercise self-control in other areas such as prayer and avoiding other temptations.
As the angel of the Lord saved the three men from the fire, may the rest of this Lent be a time for us to let God free us from our desires.
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