Lent is such an important time in our liturgical calendar. Many people either dread it or don’t even think about it much, but in my opinion, it’s a great time to re-connect with your interior life. A rebirth so to speak.
The word Lent actually means spring. What does spring mean? It means freshness, reawakening, and resurrection. That’s exactly what our spiritual life is doing during this season of Almsgiving, Fasting, and Prayer.
Almsgiving literally means pity and merciful. It is a virtue of charity. It is the act of giving either materially or providing capabilities or sharing of your time. Examples of this are: donations to local charities, giving away used items or a monetary donation. It could also be spending time at a seniors centre or a homeless shelter. Maybe it could be offering your services such as childcare or shoveling your neighbours driveway in the snow or helping someone bring in their groceries. There are many ways to be generous. During Lent, this virtue is particularly powerful.
Fasting is often looked upon as old-fashioned and insignificant. In a culture that is saturated in egocentrism, fasting is not exactly an ideal practice. The act of fasting is to literally do with less; this is a hard thing for most people. Here are some examples of how one could practice fasting: go without snacks after 7 pm, stay off electronics after a certain time of the day, don’t spend any money on frivolous items, don’t swear or cuss. All of these are ways to Fast. Fasting should be significant and meaningful and lead you closer to God.
Probably the most overlooked virtue is prayer. We may take for granted the daily prayers we already do…prayers before meals or before bed, but what if there were ways to increase your prayer life and draw you closer to our Lord? Perhaps, waking up earlier and spending time in meditation and prayer might be a great way to start your days during Lent. Gong to daily mass is a fantastic way to increase our prayer life. Attending Stations of the Cross at your local parish is also a wonderful way to add more prayer into your life. Whichever one you choose, it will only bring you closer to Jesus.
Lent is such a worthwhile season in our Catholic faith. Try to give it a deeper meaning this year.
Happy Lent to all.