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On February 17th we celebrated Ash Wednesday. For Christians, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Church season of Lent: the forty days prior to Easter Sunday. As the Lord Jesus spent forty days and forty nights in the desert prior to beginning his ministry on earth, we spend forty days and nights (not counting Sundays) in preparation for the coming of Easter. Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, and repentance. It is a time of self-examination and reflection.
Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God during Lent with a three prong approach: Prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.
Many Christians try to spend a little extra time in prayer each day. Some people take this time during Lent to try a form of prayer that they do not usually partake in.
When people hear almsgiving, they immediately think of giving money to someone in need -- and that certainly is part of it. But almsgiving can also include donating your time.
When people hear the word fasting, they automatically think of food. Growing up, I tried to talk my mother into letting me give up eating peas for Lent. She never let me! Many people refrain from eating meat on the Fridays during Lent. For some, this is a huge sacrifice. I love fish, so eating fish fries on Fridays has never been a sacrifice. A few years ago, I began giving up drinking coffee on Fridays. NOW THERE’S A SACRIFICE!
What are your plans for Lent this year? Take some time to think about how you might come closer to God during this holy season.
Happy Lent everyone.
Peace be with you,