Embrace Lent, and welcome this season into your life. This forty-day period is a beneficial time for practicing Catholics, Catholics who have taken a break from their church, Christians, and anyone who remains curious about religion and their afterlife. Open your eyes and let yourself experience the forty days.
Society today misconstrues what Lent is all about. It’s looked at as a sad, dark, and difficult time, which is hardly the reality of Lent. This time is a period to renew yourself and anticipate the new life and resurrection that we celebrate on Easter.
There are three components to Lent. They are fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Unfortunately, today’s society typically views Lent as fasting, or abstaining from something we like. This is not the case. It’s a small aspect of the season, but you shouldn’t punish yourself for forty days unless it warrants a meaningful result. That result is freeing your mind from its focus or dependence on whatever you abstain from, so you are able to fully experience the two other pillars, which are prayer and almsgiving.
Prayer is your conversation with God, or your reflections. Write in private and pray when you are free to fully devote yourself to the action. Let yourself experience the wonder of prayer by first expressing your gratitude. Tell God what you are thankful for in your life. List what He has offered you. Then, think of those around you who are not so fortunate. Pray for them. Finally, let your mind wander and think of those who do not have someone praying for them. Offer them your thoughts. Don’t ask God for specific things you want, but ask him for help in making you a better person. For instance, ask him to give you strength to be kind, or patient.
The third part of Lent is the moment often most overlooked, but the most powerful. Almsgiving is an older way to phrase charity. Devote yourself to taking on something instead of focusing your attention on abstaining from something. See the difference? It is easy to give up something, but more beneficial to take on a good thing. Become a new person in how you act, conduct yourself, and treat others. This doesn’t have to mean you suddenly evolve into Mother Teresa, and you also don’t need to sign up for specific volunteer events. The best, and most rewarding way to go about this is to just remain vigilant. Keep an eye open for moments you can do good. Pray to God to give you this strength.
Through your abstinence and prayer, almsgiving will begin to naturally occur. You’ll recognize injustice, misfortunes, and see when someone truly needs your help. Listen more, and provide good. That is Lent.
Take this forty-day period to develop into someone new and improved. Focus on the positive. This will allow you to celebrate Easter the best way possible because you, yourself, will be resurrected too.