This issue of The Compass offers some ideas and suggestions for making the most of Lent. Of course, there are other ways to “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel,” as we are sometimes told on Ash Wednesday while receiving ashes.
The Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn., is asking Catholics to participate in an unusual sacrifice on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Usually those are the days Catholics set aside during Lent for fasting and abstinence. Hartford’s fasting plan may also cause pangs, but not the kind involving food.
“The archdiocese is inviting the faithful to ‘fast’ from using cell phones on Ash Wednesday, March 1, and Good Friday, April 14,” the archdiocese explained in a press release. “The thinking is that silencing our busy phones on these two holy days will give God a chance to call our hearts.” The phone-fasting initiative is called “I Phone Fast! Will U?”
Of course, abstaining from a smartphone will also cut out social media. (Really, who uses the phone feature on an iPhone?) Are you up to setting aside your mobile device on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? In our age of connectivity, it isn’t an easy task. But just as with fasting from food, when we offer up our hunger to God, the same can be said by not reaching into our pocket to check for a Facebook or Twitter status update. Are you up for the fast?