The Power of Fasting and Sacrifice: How Lent Can Empower You to Change the World
How will you change the world this Lent?
Devin Schadt, the co-founder of The Fathers of St. Joseph, an apostolate working for the renewal of authentic fatherhood, recently appeared on The Catholic Gentleman’s podcast to discuss how Lent should be a time for positive change in life.
“Lent is not just punishing myself, because that never works.”
Schadt tells podcast host John Heinen about his personal struggle of feeling overwhelming pressure to be a protector and provider, while also feeling weak and inadequate.
With his head “spinning,” all he could ask was: “what would Jesus say about this?”
When he did, he made a striking discovery: Christ’s teachings are paradoxical, and he had to significantly shift his thinking.
“If you want to be known, Jesus teaches that one should be hidden; to be elevated, one should be lowly. One should give their life away if they want to live, and if they want to be powerful, they should love their enemies.”
He realized Lent should really be about “embracing the cross that Christ wants to give.”
By taking on “little disciplines” that will continue beyond Lent, he says we can become better children of God.
“It’s so funny we say ‘yeah I took my cold showers and yeah I haven’t watched TV this week,’ but Jesus says ‘I want you to take on this little discipline that you actually think you can do because underneath that discipline is what you really need to work on.’”
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed during Lent, Schadt says we need to remember that even small acts of sacrifice and fasting can be humbling experiences that draw us closer to God.
He explains we should instead reframe failures and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning that better remind us of our need to depend on Christ.
“Christ is not in the business of judging by human appearances. He wants to get down into the soul and he wants a clean house.”
Schadt’s new vision for Lent is not just about self-sacrifice, but as a truly transformative time for renewal, personal growth and making a positive impact.
“So that we can be free to not be bound by human conditions … but we can be free of all that to actually live like him.”
By thinking about Lent in light of not just about what we give up, but what we take on, we can become agents of change in the world.
“That’s when we become a real danger and threat to the world and reign of Satan.”
Here’s the full episode below:
Click here if you cannot see the video above.
What a beautiful message!
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[See also: Grow in Holiness With Your Family: Here’s 5 Perfect Ways Using the Pillars of Lent]
[See also: The Third Pillar of Lent: How Almsgiving Benefits the Soul, According to the Saints]
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