St. Faustina’s doctor advised her exactly what she could give up for Lent, as her health didn’t allow her great sacrifices.
When preparing to celebrate the great feast of Easter, St. Faustina had to discern what exactly she could give up for Lent.
This was an important question for her, as St. Faustina had a deep love of Jesus Christ, experiencing numerous private revelations that she wrote in her Diary.
She wanted to do all that she could for the greatest love in her life and was ready and willing to sacrifice everything for Jesus.
However, as her health began to deteriorate, St. Faustina submitted herself to the care of a physician, asking him what she could perform as a Lenten sacrifice.
St. Faustina wrote exactly what her doctor said she could give up for Lent in her Diary.
Small practices for Lent. Although I wish and desire to do so, I cannot practice big
mortifications as before, because I am under the strict surveillance of the doctor. But I
can practice little things: first – sleep without a pillow; keep myself a little hungry.
For St. Faustina, sleeping without a pillow was a “small” sacrifice, while for many of us, this would be categorized as a “big” sacrifice. We value our comfort in modern, Western society, and put even more emphasis on the kind of sleep that we have.
Yet, sleeping without a pillow (for most of us) will not “kill” us and in some ways, may even be beneficial to our health. If you view it as a sacrifice offered out of love for God, this really is a small practice and is a simple example of what you could give up for Lent.
The other sacrifice of keeping herself “a little hungry” is again something that we can all do. It might mean that we don’t have snacks in between meals, or abstain from a second helping at meals. For some people, they see this sacrifice as a way to maintain solidarity with the poor, who spend each day in hunger.
If you are looking for ideas on what you can give up during Lent, try learning from St. Faustina!