LENT IS THE 40-DAY PENITENTIAL PERIOD TO PREPARE OUR HEARTS TO CELEBRATE THE SOLEMNITY OF EASTER SUNDAY AND THE ENTIRE 50-DAY SEASON OF EASTER. (Easter season ends on Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the upper room). It is modeled after the 40 days that Jesus spent in the de preparing for His public ministry. The Spanish word for Lent, CUARESMA, means 40th. Our English word “Lent” originally meant spring. the root for this word means “long.” because the days lengthen during the spring. As we emerge from the darkness of winter and nature begins to blossom, our thoughts turn toward new life.
Catholics and some other Protestant Religions are called to prepare our hearts for Easter by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. On ASH WEDNESDAY-THIS YEAR FEB. 18,-, THE BEGINNING OF LENT, we are admonished to turn away from sin and to be faithful to the Gospet. ASH WEDNESDAY and GOOD FRIDAY ARE DAYS OF FASTING AND ABSTINENCE. Those over the age of 14 must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent. Since Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are also fast days, those from the ages of 18-59 are required to eat less: one meal and two smaller meals that, taken together, are not more than one main meal. No food between meals. These are the things that the Church requires of us during Lent.
THE CHURCH ALSO RECOMMENDS: confessing our sins, praying more (for example, attending daily Mass, praying the Stations of the Cross on Fridays), as well as making sacrifices or giving something up during Lent. In fact, giving the money saved through such sacrifices to the poor is a beautiful way to practice almsgiving, which purifies our hearts and makes atonement for our sins.
To sum up, what Christ desires most of us during LENT IS A CONTRITE AND HUMBLE HEART, OPEN TO HIS MERCY.” (Father Joe Roesch, MIC)
Now, no mater what religion you belong to or if you belong to no religion, you can still prepare yourself for the most important and wonderful season of the year:THE EASTER SEASON. Here are some suggestions: One suggestion, is to give up something you spend money on, a cup of coffee, candy bar, soda, beer, movies, etc. and the money saved, put in a container and at the end of Lent, give it to your favorite Charity. This way you are making a sacrifice and offer that sacrifice up to our Lord, and giving to the poor. If you can’t get to extra Mass or the Way of the Cross, try spending 1/2 hour extra saying the Rosary, or reading the Life of Christ, in the Gospels. The idea is to spend extra time with our Lord Jesus Christ to thank him for giving His Life for Us on the Cross and for preparing for the Celebration of Easter and the Easter Season.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL, HAVE A MEANINGFUL LENT.