I've been mulling over the notion that Lent is as much about release as it is about sacrifice. Both involve letting go, but the former seems to me to be done with greater freedom -- with intention and enthusiasm, and a corresponding feeling of joy and true resurrection.
Nowadays we "give up" things for Lent -- behaviours, habits -- like eating chocolate or drinking alcohol or playing computer Solitaire -- symbolic of Christ's sacrifice on Good Friday. And yes, this is a type of fasting.
But if we are, instead, making/marking an observance of His 40 days in the Wilderness where, in addition to fasting, He resisted temptations put before him by the Devil -- should we not also ponder the courage, internal strength and joy that came to Him as a result of His choices to renounce Satan, to, in effect, release the (potential) worldly hold that food, wealth and power could have over Him in his humanity?
I am not 'giving up' things this Lent, so much as I am taking on new habits -- reflection and reading in the Benedictine practice of lectio divina. I am using this time to anchor my day, in the fond hope that I will carry the gift of hearing God into my daily routines, into my studio, and from there, do and be as He would have me do and be...