This week, many Christian traditions begin the season of Lent, which begins Wednesday, Feb. 18. In this season, we prepare ourselves for the great celebration of Easter, when we celebrate Christ, the Light of the World, risen from the dead.
Lent is a time of “spring cleaning.” It is a time in which we look into our lives in order to get rid of those things that keep us from loving God and neighbor. We focus on three things, prayer, fasting, and giving alms.
During this time we pay more attention to God. Not only do we talk to God, we also listen to God. We open ourselves to God’s loving presence. We spend more quiet time with him. Hopefully, we come to the community of faith and let this community strengthen us as we walk together with God.
We fast from things that keep us from walking in the ways of God. We give up attitudes, bad habits, sins, and ask for God’s great mercy as we let go of those things that are keeping us from love of God and neighbor. Many focus on this aspect of Lent, but it is one of the many ways we can draw strength from God.
We make an assessment of the gifts we have to share of time, talent, and treasure for God and neighbor. We start good habits of being kind to others, helping those in need, and sharing the blessings God has given us, especially with those who need it most, the poor and marginalized.
We are blessed in many ways this Lenten season. I hope we can make the most of it, with God’s blessing.