Sometimes we get bent over by the weight of life. It doesn't matter what causes it: infirmity, illness, stress, sadness, problems. We might even feel like we're already in a kind of Lent ... we may be already experiencing a kind of deprivation. How can the Church ask us to make any more sacrifices than we already are? Precisely. Why. We. Need. It.
We already know how hard life can be, and yes, sometimes we are downright bent over by the weight of it all. Like the woman in Luke 13: 11-13 (go read it, we'll wait), we need the touch of Jesus's hands so we don't have to be bent so out of shape. And we will find Jesus preaching in the temple of this holy season.
So, let us use what the Church recommends: more prayer, a fast, and giving alms and support to another. Each, in its own way, brings us face to face with Jesus. Each can allow us to hear the voice of Jesus calling out to us. Each "practice" can put us "in touch" with Jesus in a deeper way.
Lenten observances are not intended to add more weight to what we already carry, but to empty us of what is useless baggage.
Lord, Jesus, straighten what is bent in us, so we may stand tall and glorify you!