During Lent, there will be no burger with my fries


By Matt Palmer



Go big or go home, right?

Lent is about sacrifice and walking in the journey with Jesus. People all across the globe will start the season with Ash Wednesday Mass and try to come up with something they are giving up for 40 days.

A year ago, I gave up sodas, no small feat for a guy who drinks Cherry Cokes like they’re water.

This year, I’m pulling out the big gun. I’ve giving up … wait for it … hamburgers.

Stop laughing. Seriously, pick yourself up off the ground and breathe.

Giving up burgers is a big deal to a picky eater like myself. The way I see it, great burgers are an art form, taken for granted like a 1980s Hall and Oates song – always a reliable hit.

As a reporter, I’m constantly on the run and getting a drive-thru burger is an easy fallback. As a regular guy, I look at a restaurant menu of what other people see as a display of delicious food and wonder what the hamburger tastes like.

More often than not, someone says, “Like a burger.”

And I respond, “Awesome. I’ll get that.”

Sometimes I get an itch and just run out and a buy a burger. It’s really that bad.

Of course, I like making burgers on the grill, too. It gives me that boost of feeling extra manly about my burger addiction.

Lenten Fridays have always been tough for me. A day without meat is a sacrifice, even if I like pizza and fish of all kinds.

The idea of adding in all the days of Lent makes the march to Easter Sunday look daunting.

Boy, I feel stupid writing that. Whether it was sodas last year or burgers this year,

I’m trying to compare my inability to eat burgers with the suffering of Christ and the simple thing is, I can’t. We know what Jesus did and why he did it. If you think about what he went through for us, it’s almost incomprehensible.

My “march” is small and I’ll have to keep that in perspective. Lent’s a time when we should be spiritually in tune with Christ and I really shouldn’t need a lack of burgers to do that.

As we all take on our sacrifices during the next 40 days, let’s remember what Christ did and try to be more like him.


Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.