We welcome again writer Kerri Leigh Power as our guest blogger today.

Two years ago, my husband’s elderly mother passed away, and we spent several days cleaning out the house where she had lived for sixty years. As we sorted and packed belongings, deciding what to donate and what to keep in her memory, we unearthed many hidden treasures from her long life. Among them were three colourful little cans that I found in the bottom of a dusty cookie jar.

I wasn’t familiar with them, but my husband told me they were Lenten offering cans left over from his boyhood in the ‘60s. The idea was to put the money you would have spent on candy or other pleasures during Lent into the jar, and then offer the donation at Easter.

Lent OfferingI was charmed by the cans and the images of Jesus that seemed to belong to another time. I was also reminded of my own years in an all-girl Catholic school. I’m sure the nuns did their best to teach us about the meaning of the Lenten season, but as kids we made a game out of Lent — gossiping about who was giving up what, or trying to outdo each other by claiming that we would give up something unthinkable, like Coke, or even chocolate.

Recently I’ve begun to explore my own long-buried Catholic roots. Now, for the first time in my adult life, I’m entering the season of Lent consciously, and wondering what it means. Should I give up something I enjoy? Will this deepen my relationship with God? How can my sacrifice become more than a surface act of self-denial, and take me into deeper spiritual terrain? I look forward to exploring these questions in the coming weeks and seeing what new and unexpected treasures turn up.

Do you find meaning in making a sacrifice during Lent?