Why I Love Lent
For many years growing up, I hated Lent. I hate the color purple and everything liturgical was so gloomy. There was no festivity, no excitement, no sizzle! I was, of course, wrong.
A few years ago, two things happened. First, I dug deeper into the concept of forgiveness and gained tremendous insight. To achieve true, pure forgiveness is a rare feat. Yet God achieves it every time I visit with Him in the Sacrament of Confession. Second, I did deeper study into the actual crucifixion of Christ. After being Catholic for a while, you sort of sanitize the whole deal. Jesus looks sad on the crucifixes that we see, but none of them really do justice to the sheer torture He endured. And I had a very real role in causing his pain.
Lent is actually a fabulous time. It’s a spring cleaning for your soul. You get to set time aside to take your faith really seriously and evaluate how you’re living. You get to hit the reset button and do better starting today. Here’s why I really love Lent:
- There are tons of graces. We have many opportunities to gain Indulgences, but it seems like Lent presents tons of bonus opportunities. Meditating on the Stations on the Cross or even praying particular prayers on Fridays are a few of the options for the baseline criteria. You have the other steps to take, but they get you started on Indulgence Avenue!
- There are lots of opportunities to enrich your faith. During Lent, your Parish probably has a multi-day Mission. They invite in a speaker who preaches for a series of evenings on a particular topic. It’s basically free education for your spiritual life. BOOM! They also might schedule a Penance Service or other speakers, family nights, and special events. It’s like the Easy-Bake Oven of the spiritual life.
- You get to explore new ways of Praying. Prayer doesn’t fit into a box. Lent encourages you to think of new ways to pray. There are sacrifice, almsgiving, and even the special things you do during Lent. Prayer isn’t always just words, sometimes it’s action. Lent gives us the chance to explore.
In conclusion, I was wrong. Lent is awesome. So let’s take advantage!