The last time Murdock the younger ever took Lent seriously was right before his mother died. He gave up red meat, just like she did. After she died, Matt stopped taking Lent seriously. Oh, he still gave things up for Lent, just not serious things. This caused his grandmother great distress when he started, though now she just sighs heavily and drinks. Murdock the elder, however, is almost always delighted in what odd new way Matt is going to shirk his religion.
The first Lent after his mother’s death, Matt gives up something simple. He gives up wearing shoes. He has decided that for six whole weeks he isn’t going to wear shoes.
However, his master plan is foiled when his father reminds him that they live in New York and that the forecast for the next six weeks looks to be snow, snow, more snow, and maybe some ice for variety.
Matt mutters about stupid weather patterns and stomps barefoot back to his room.
The next Lent rolls around and Matt is prepared. He spent the whole year thinking about and planning what he was going to give up.
This year he sits across the table from his grandmother and his father with a serious expression on his young face.
“This year, for Lent, I have decided to give up,” He said and then took a deep breath, “vegetables.”
His grandmother sighs through her nose while Jack tries not to laugh.
“Really?” He asked.
“Well, then I guess there’s nothing that I can do to stop you.”
Grandmother Murdock looks appalled and starts to sputter. Finally, she rises from the table with a huff. While she angrily left the room, Matt and Jack shared a quick grin.
At 10, Matt had already decided early on what he wanted to give up for Lent.
“Alcohol.” He says firmly, “I have to kick my bad habit.”
Jack buries his head in his hands and laughs. Grandmother Murdock just sighs softly and wonders what she did was she did so wrong to deserve this kind of bad karma.
The next year, Matt decides to see how far he can push things. His grandmother sits at the table, regarding him with a wary expression. Matt smiles reassuringly at her.
“This year I am giving up hookers. “
Grandmother Murdock feels part of her soul leave her body.
“What have I done so wrong that I have been surrounded by these heathens, Lord?” She asks the heavens.
Two years later Matt was still new to being blind, but was becoming more and more used to it every day. Grandmother Murdock was hoping that this would be the year that Matt started to take his religion more seriously.
Jack helps Matt to the table and then takes his usual seat at the table. Matt sits in contemplative silence for a moment before shifting his attention to where he thinks his father and grandmother are. Jack taps the table and Matt automatically corrects.
“I have been doing a lot of thinking recently,” Matt starts and his grandmother’s heart soars, “and I have finally come up with the perfect thing to give up for Lent.”
“What is it, sweetheart?” Grandmother asks, reaching across the table to grip Matt’s hand.
“I have decided,” Matt pauses dramatically, “To give up my sight.”
That was the first time that Matt ever heard his grandmother swear, but it would not be the last.
The next year, Matt gives up reading. He hears his grandmother’s sharp intake of breath and is prepared for the swearing, but it never comes.
Instead he hears, “This is why good people start to drink.”
Matt’s freshman year of college, he invites Foggy to join the Lent table. Foggy sits nervously at the table, in between Matt and his father.
“What is it this year?” His grandmother asks, “What absurd thing have you decided to give up this year?”
Foggy looks at the others with confusion. “Isn’t Lent a serious thing?” He thinks.
He starts to understand when Matt grins and says, “I’m giving up stairs.”
“Matty, you live on the fourth floor.” Jack says, “How is that going to work?”
“I’ll sleep on the first floor. There’s a cute girl that is willing to let me share her bed.”
The next year, Foggy is better prepared for whatever comes out of Matt’s mouth. He is still was not entirely prepared when Matt opens his mouth and says, “Cold weather.”
“What?” Foggy asks.
“I’m giving up cold weather.”
“It’s New York, in February. How exactly are you going to give up cold weather?” Foggy questions.
“I’m going to Hawaii.”
“For six weeks?” Jack asks.
“There’s a very cute girl willing to help me out.”
Junior year of college has Matt giving up shaving.
“You weren’t shaving anyway?” Foggy asks, desperately trying to understand the pattern.
“Yes, but now I’m not shaving because it’s against my religion.”
Senior year of college finds Matt just out of a relationship with Elektra Natchios. So, naturally for Lent he gives up relationships with “bad” women.
His grandmother is delighted by this, until she realizes that this implies multiple relationships with “bad” women.
The Lent of the first year of Matt and Foggy’s new jobs as junior associates finds Foggy with his head buried in his hands.
“You’re giving up what now?” He asks, praying that he had misheard.
Foggy sighs and goes to join Grandmother Murdock with her bottle of scotch.
“This year I’m giving up sex.” Matt says very seriously.
“Well that’s okay,” Foggy says, “No one was planning on sleeping with you anyway.”
The next year, Matt gets back at Foggy for his comment about Matt’s sex life.
“This year,” Matt says grandly and a little tipsily, “I am giving up practicing law.”
Foggy sighs, does a shot, and very succinctly says, “Fuck you, Murdock.”
The first year of Matt being Daredevil brought up a lot of issues. So, to put everyone’s mind at ease he decides on the perfect thing for Lent.
“This year for the six-week period of Lent, I am giving up dying.”
Claire puts her head in her hands, “That’s not how it works.”
“It’s against my religion to die though, for six weeks.”
Foggy pats Claire’s shoulder and passes her a shot.
Grandmother Murdock looks at all the people in the tiny kitchen of Jack’s apartment. Matt’s friend circle had greatly increased lately. She was wary of the gruff, angry looking man in the corner, but if he was here, then in meant that Matty had invited him, so she supposed he was alright.
“Thank you, my friends for joining me here today.” Matt says. “This is a very special occasion that is near and dear to my heart. Every year for Lent, I give something up for six weeks to make myself a better person.”
Grandmother snorts and takes a deep drink of her whiskey. Jack is already two beers in and Foggy is guzzling rum and cokes like there is no tomorrow. Claire isn’t even bothering with a glass, rather she is drinking straight from the bottle. Frank and Karen are looking at them with concern and confusion.
“For Lent this year, I have chosen to give up a big part of my life.”
“And what is that?” Foggy asks, almost hopefully.
“I am giving up Frank Castle.”
Frank sputters and looks at Matt with wide eyes. “What?”
“I’m sorry Frank, but starting at midnight I am giving you up. That means that you can’t be a part of my life for six weeks.” Matt answers, unable to hide his grin.
Frank mutters and glares at the blind man. Then he tilts his head as something occurres to him. “I can’t be in your life for six whole weeks?”
Frank is grinning now, “That means I can do what I want, for six weeks, without you stopping me and giving me lectures on morality.”
“What? No.” Matt says, realizing that his plan was quickly backfiring on him.
“That’s what you just said.” Frank says, pushing off from the fridge, “Sorry folks, it was nice to meet everyone, but I have people to kill.”
“Frank, no! That’s not what I meant! Frank! Stop!! Frank!”
The four remaining guests do shots as Matt tries to chase after Frank.
As more and more superheroes begin to appear and connect with each other, Matt gets dragged into several different groups. Consequently, Jack’s tiny apartment quickly gets overrun by people.
Also, as a consequence, the first year that Matt is officially part of the Avengers, he gives up the Avengers for Lent.
“How does that work?” Tony asks while Steve, another pseudo-Catholic, laughs.
“No one really knows.” Foggy answers, “Have a shot.”
The next year, Matt specifically gives up Clint Barton for Lent.
Several years later, Matt decides to give up one of the biggest causes of his headaches for Lent.
“But I’m a funny guy!” Wade cries as Matt pushes him out the door.
“You weren’t even invited.”
“I’m always invited, isn’t that a thing?”
“No, and now you’re definitely not invited for the next six weeks.”
At 36, Matt decides that this is going to be the big one. Nothing else will ever probably top it and he is prepared for that.
“This year,” Matt smiles softly, “I’ve decided to give up something very big.”
“Matt?” Jack asks, instantly concerned.
“I’ve decided to give up being single and dating.”
Claire looks at Matt with confusion before comprehension dawns on her.
“Claire Temple, will you marry me?”
This year everyone drinks champagne.
Matt is only partly wrong about nothing being able to top his proposal.
“This year, Claire and I have both decided to give something up.” Matt says, standing up proudly, one arm slipped around Claire’s waist.
“We’ve decided,” Claire says, a little nervously, “We’ve decided that we are going to give up not having children.”
Grandmother Murdock is thrilled that something so wonderful has come out of little Matty’s odd tradition.
Other things that Matt Murdock has given up in his continuing saga against Lent:
• Reality TV
• Working out
• Being Catholic
• School (he actually tried this several times)
• Being sick
• Bagels (What he has against bagels, no one ever finds out)
• The letter “D” (This led to several amusing interactions with Foggy)
• Getting tattoos
• Being single
• Being motherless (He actually set Jack up on several blind dates. Jack found none of them interesting, but is now happily dating a bartender he met after one of the dates went bad)
• Eating anything other than Chinese
• Gravity (This lead to any interesting conversation on how exactly that would work)
• Reality itself
• Rick Astley