A Year Later. Still Agnostic. Why Lent (Again).
Note: See Mackenzie's blog from Lent 2014: "Why Lent" as the first in this series.
A year after the first time I ever celebrated Lent, I continue to believe that participating in Lent through CRS Rice Bowl is a way to live out my faith, even though I am not Catholic.
I have struggled with finding my spiritual and religious identity, but I also know that I do not necessarily need to be 100% certain to have faith and practice Lent. Lent, to me, is a time when people come together and stand in solidarity with the oppressed, poor and those who struggle daily with their own battles.
And, mostly, it is a time of practicing non-judgment of others. Although I have at times experienced judgment based on my identity as an Agnostic, I've reflected even more on the way that I have been welcomed into my campus's celebration of Lent with open arms. So, I decided to again participate in the Lenten season. CRS and our Student Ambassadors at Cabrini College have provided me with a sense of community and belonging, something that I never really felt I had before. Because of that acceptance, my faith has grown even stronger and I celebrate it every day through reading the prayers provided by the Rice Bowl App.
And, this year I have decided to give back even more by donating money every day to my Rice Bowl as well as educating our Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors on what Rice Bowls are and how they truly help so many people in need globally.
I recommend that any student who is struggling to find his or her religious identity or community look to see if there is a CRS Student Ambassador chapter on your campus and/or follow the Lenten journey of CRS Rice Bowl. See a summary Storify here of the many ways in which colleges and universities around the country participated in CRS Rice Bowl 2015.