Lent is a time for reflection. It involves prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Some of these practices do not always feel like they have the same level of meaning that one hopes for. One still participates with the same intentions, because the graces are still received from the acts. In the Catholic faith, there are times for meditation and times for rejoicing. Lent is a time to look at one’s life and what one can do to better draw closer to the Lord.
Prayer is a way to develop holiness during a regular day. Conversing with God can help one to become more aware of one’s purpose in life. Actions become more Christlike, as one longs to be nearer to him. The further one is from God, the harder it becomes to imitate him. Just as the more time one spends with a certain friend, the more one tends to act like that person.
Fasting can be from food, as with Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, or abstaining from meat on Lenten Fridays. It can also be giving up something that takes up time that could otherwise be used for God. In these days, social networking, the internet, and television seem to consume a lot of time in families. Maybe devoting less time to these technological outlets, and instead, spending more time in spiritual development could be a good way of fasting.
Almsgiving is tied closely to fasting, and can involve giving up time or possessions. Going through some old clothes and donating them to those in need can be an act of almsgiving. Maybe spending some time volunteering at a soup kitchen can bring one closer to God during Lent.
No matter how one decides to journey through Lent, all the way one is longing for the coming of Christ at Easter. As long as one makes effort to focus on the true meaning of Lent, there will be graces that follow. Enjoy the journey, and He will rejoice with you at His coming!
Copyright 2012 Tanya Weitzel