this year’s lenten season began on march 5th with ash wednesday.
for those of you who are not christian, lent is 40 days of fasting and reflection in preparation for the resurrection of jesus Christ.
“the term is derived from an old english word which meant the lengthening of days. we move out of the cold barrenness of winter and, as the days grow longer, long for the promise of new life which comes with spring.” words by deacon keith fournier
my childhood was immersed in all things catholic – i went to catholic schools from grades 1 through 12, almost all of our friends were catholic and i volunteered at the catholic hospital next door to where we lived. my year was driven less by secular calendar or even seasons, but by the catholic calendar. but for personal reasons and for all the negative reasons that the catholic church has been in the news lately, i walked away from it. i don’t want to be associated with an institution that has been far, far away from any kind of moral compass. in other words: i am a recovering catholic.
still, there are lessons in the writings of the church and the rituals it established. there’s a comfortable rhythm to those childhood days of preparation for easter sunday. lent is a reminder of mortality and while that may not be a thought we wish to have, the fact is that we’re all going to die.
“in an age drunk on self-worship, a reminder of the brevity of our days should draw us to our knees” source: catholic.org
i like that quote. i especially like the phrase “drunk of self-worship” as i think it sums up the age we’re living in. so, a little self-sacrifice in these days before easter can go a long way to replenishing the soul.