Why I Will Not #Ashtag

I am giving up selfies for Lent.


Don’t get me wrong. I love taking pictures. And usually, I am all for selfies. Selfies are not bad in and of themselves. Watch this video to see how selfies are more than what people think. But for Lent, I am not gonna take any selfies and I’m changing all my profile pictures so that you don’t see my face.


I bet you’re wondering why am I giving up selfies and having my face on my social media profile pictures for Lent.


Because it’s not all about me. Or whatever status updates I have in mind when I take my selfies. It’s because He must increase and I must decrease. And it’s because we rise again from ashes from the good we failed to do. (Yes, I still have nostalgia for that song. #cradleCatholicproblems)


Whenever Lent comes around, I often recall a homily or a conversation about a homily back in my college days where Fr. Ted (no, not the guy from that UK TV show) told everyone to wipe off the ashes after Mass is over as a sign of hiding the fact that you’re fasting. It’s a modern perspective on the familiar verse from tomorrow’s Gospel (Matthew 6:16-18):


When you fast,

do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.

They neglect their appearance,

so that they may appear to others to be fasting.

Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you fast,

anoint your head and wash your face,

so that you may not appear to be fasting,

except to your Father who is hidden.

And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you


Lent is not about acting depressed. It’s about improving yourself, body and soul, through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Ashes aren’t supposed to be a sign of pride, but a sign of humility, as Mark Hart goes into detail about. So what’s the problem with showing off your ashes? Let’s just say we probably know some people who are Catholic in name only who only show up during Ash Wednesday and show off their ashes throughout the day. (*coughNANCYPELOSIcough*) So no, I’m not gonna show off my ashes tomorrow. And you won’t see my face in any of my posts until Lent is over.


Selfies aren’t the only thing I’m giving up, but I’m not exactly gonna tell you what else. Why? Well, watch this video from The Catholic Apologist. Again, it’s so I can keep in mind that Lent is all about God and not about what I’m planning on giving up.


Instead, I want to tell you about the extra things I have planned for Lent. I am going to do a lot more reading. You’ll see posts about the books I read throughout the next several weeks. I’m also adding Lectio Divina to my daily prayer routine. And finally, I’ll be posting photos from Lenten photo challenges on my Instagram and on this blog.


For this Lent, I challenge you guys to do something extra on top of giving something up. Just keep in mind that God comes first and you shouldn’t do something way too extreme. Taylor Marshall found that out the hard way. Instead, think of something that you know will push you out of your comfort zone and offer it up to God.

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