I am a non-practicing Catholic, or at least that’s what I always say. I don’t attend Mass and I don’t really follow the rules of the Church. I do, however, observe the Lenten tradition of giving something up from Ash Wednesday (TODAY) until Easter. Last year I became a vegetarian. This year I’m swearing off sweets. I know that to some that doesn’t sound like too big a deal, but it is. Allow me to point out that that means no chocolate and that I am currently relationship-less (I need chocolate). That means no candies, no birthday cake, no pastel de tres leches, no cheesecake, nothing. In spite of the fact that I have a tremendous sweet tooth, I will and I can survive. So, if it’s that big a deal, why do I do it? This is my one concession to the traditions my family observes and follows. It’s the one thing I do every year that allows me to restate that while I do not get along with organized religion, I do still believe in God. It’s a statement to myself that there is something bigger than the trivial and not-so-trivial everyday things that I get caught up in all of the time. It’s my act of hope and belief. Taken in that context, forty days or so of sweet-less existence really doesn’t seem like too big a sacrifice. I’ll let you know how it’s gone when it’s over. Buena suerte, gente.