Last Lent, as a seasonal penance, I gave up listening to most music. Then, for personal reasons, I decided I wanted to try to extend the penance to the end of this year. Though I did not succeed in that, the attempt at a long penance was still thought-provoking. Here is, in brief, what it meant for me in both personal sacrifice and growth.
To provide some background, I’m a lifelong musicophile. I love my favorite songs so much that I would say there’s nothing like the joy of listening to them in all the world. Thus, this penance probably sounds pretty intense. However, it was a deprivation of secular music, that is, all music not specifically intended to praise God. Thus, I allowed myself both praise and worship music and traditional hymns, which made it at least a little easier.
In the second place, I’m a natural warbler, and will normally just start singing in the midst of ordinary everyday activities. This I thus attempted to restrict in the same way—sing, but only religious music.