I'm surrounded by the stuff. Chocolate is everywhere I look:
In a bowl on the table
In the kids' Halloween bags
In the pantry
In my mind
Therefore, it makes sense that abstaining from chocolate is a frequent Friday penance of choice.
Penance keeps me "mindful of my personal sins and the sins of mankind," mindful of my failings and weaknesses. It reminds me that I must call on Christ for strength and it inspires me to offer my weak and tiny sacrifices as prayers for others. Fasting and abstinence train my will, and sharpen self-discipline. Friday penance beckons me to perfection, and to the Perfect Source, even while making it glaringly apparent to me that I am woefully far from perfection.
And yet, my Lord calls me to perfection. Can I attain it in this life?
I'm no math expert, but I know that my virtue would have to grow exponentially for me to make it in my lifetime.
But, when I sit in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, when I spend time in prayer, when I feel the presence of Christ, as palpable as the chocolate I crave, I know that I want, at the very least, to reach for the Perfection that He is.
And so, on Fridays, instead of reaching for chocolate?
I reach for Him.