Lent requires giving. We are called to for-give. We must seek to be for-give-n. We must give alms. Most people believe we are called to give something up.
I would argue, forgiveness and alms-giving is not only a greater personal sacrifice but will ultimately bring me closer to the Lord.
Giving alms, or sharing our gifts or charity with others brings a closer awareness to the fact that we are not alone. More importantly, it means that what we have or “own” do not belong to us, but are meant for others. Someone commented to me about my choice to consignment shop adding that, “I don’t understand how you can subscribe to buy one donate one.” Later that evening I reflected on the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, who felt that we have the right to private ownership, but not private use. He believed that the use of “private property” is for the sake of the common good.
Personally, Lent is the perfect time to survey the material possessions that bring me comfort. I realize I have far too much. And so I must give. At a higher level, Lent is the right time to give to anyone or cause that asks as it is written in Matthew 5:42.