I have arranged to visit a local pub with my wife and a couple of friends on Saturday night after we will have attended the Easter Vigil.
I am feeling quite excited about the night out because I will be able to have a glass of beer for the first time in over six weeks and I can hardly wait.
I think that the abstinence I have undertaken from alcohol throughout Lent has taught me how difficult it is to deny myself something which I enjoy, particularly on social occasions.
In a way, it is not the alcohol that I am most looking forward to, it is rather not having this feeling that I am restricted in some way from responding to what I want to do.
I want a beer, but I ask for water.
I want a glass of wine with a special meal, but I ask for juice
I like water
I like juice
I wanted beer
I wanted wine
My wife tells me that she admires my strength and resilience and determination to carry through my intention to deny myself alcohol.
I have been working through my development to be open to all things which my life is calling me to bring forth, so to deny myself anything seems strangely like an anathema to that logic and ideal.
Self denial has taught me that I am capable of denying myself, for a length of time what my mind and body craves for, which is helpful in determining what is likely to be the best choice, where my thinking has reached a fork in the road.
Life involves making choices on a frequent basis, and sometimes the choice for one path is a denial for another path, for example, when we make a vow or a promise to another to be faithful in marriage.
It is not self denial which sustains a marriage, it is love.
It is not self denial which sustains my beliefs, it is faith.
It is through self denial, through my dry lent, that I experience a magnification of the intensity of my love and devotion to Christ, and my faith in His Resurrection.
My next blog will be: Olive Branch