“Ask a Priest: May I Change My Lenten Resolution?”

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Q: Can I change what I do for Lent? For Lent I gave up most of the apps and entertainment on my phone. I did, however, set a limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes a day for Disney+. I find myself wanting to go over the limit and to watch more since I found out after I bought the membership that Disney indirectly contributes to Planned Parenthood. I probably won’t buy from Disney again, but I don’t want what I bought to go to waste. I want to be able to watch the most movies I can before the membership ends. It seems to be a big dilemma for me. My second question is, if I break my Lenten resolution, is it a sin? Or if I change what I do for Lent, would it be a sin? I read something online saying that if you break your Lent it’s not a sin unless you gave up doing something sinful. I don’t think what I’m doing is sinful since I bought the membership not knowing the company indirectly supports abortion. Thank you! – S.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It sounds as though you are being tempted to violate your Lenten resolution.

It might be good to recognize that for what it is: a temptation.

’Tis not the season for minimalism. Lenten sacrifices are meant to be, well, sacrifices. We should feel a pinch. They should cost us something. That is why they can be effective in helping us to change.

As for wanting to watch more movies so that your membership doesn’t go to waste: That sounds like an excuse. So, it might be good to recognize that for what it is: rationalization.

As for your second question: Is it a sin to violate a Lenten resolution?

Maybe the better question is, what is holding you back from detaching from the world? What is holding you back from drawing closer to Our Lord?

It is good to remember that your faith is your relationship with Jesus. And you know what he was willing to sacrifice for you on Calvary.

Perhaps it would help to go before a crucifix and explain to Jesus why you want to break your Lenten resolution.

He might appreciate having first dibs on those 90 minutes a day you now dedicate to Disney+.

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One Comment
  1. Truth is hard to hear sometimes and even harder to accept. Really appreciate that Father’s response wasn’t the watered down stuff we are used to hearing or allowing ourselves to accept in order to follow our own will. This one really gave me something to think about.

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