When I consider Lent, the first question that comes to mind is “what should I give up?” Though abstaining from meat, chocolate, alcohol or one of life’s other pleasures certainly has the potential to make for a reflective 40 days, Lent is as much about giving as it is giving up.
As St. Augustine once explained, a Sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. I may not think that Confession is a necessary prerequisite to receiving God’s forgiveness, but I do experience God’s grace through the Sacrament.
Not doing something that causes pain, sadness or even just irritation to another is human decency. Actively going out of your way to make some else’s burden lighter, life sweeter, and heart fuller — likely at your own expense — that is true generosity of the golden variety.