Fr. Mike knows the tricks we can play on ourselves when it comes to picking something for Lent. So he gives a straightforward guideline: Don’t pick something that’s arbitrary. Pick something that is necessary.
In other words, don’t say you’re giving up watermelon when you know you will hardly eat watermelon anyway; and don’t give up hot showers if you know cold showers actually won’t help you grow in holiness. We can easily fool ourselves into thinking strictness equates to holiness. Likewise, we can fall into the trap of thinking that the easiest thing will be the most helpful.
What do I really need to do or give up for forty days? If I take an honest look inside myself, it may be something difficult, but I will know.
Check out more from Fr. Mike on Lent: What’s the Point of Fasting During Lent?