Faith onLine Lent Reflection

The importance of Lent

1 March 2022

Lent is a good time to slow down and breathe more deeply. It’s a time to stop running around so much in search of distractions. It’s a time to be still and remember that God is with us.

Pope Francis has said that Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us. The pope reminds the faithful that the Lenten practices of fasting, almsgiving and prayer make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope and effective charity, thereby sharing in Jesus’ mission of the salvation of the world.

Lent is traditionally a time for some kind of fasting. For example, we might go without sweets, chocolates or alcohol. It’s like training for sport. If someone wants to be a good athlete, they have to train themselves in self-control. They have to be self-disciplined so they can run their best race. Likewise, we need to train ourselves in self-control as Christians. We need to be self-disciplined so we can run our best race as followers of Christ.

Lent is a time to practise self-control.

Lent is also a time to review our lives and repent of any wrongs we have done. It’s a time to receive God’s mercy, especially in the sacrament of penance.

Lent can help us become more generous towards others. Another traditional practice of this season is almsgiving. When we give to those in need, our own hearts are enlarged. We feel good about ourselves. And our giving can be more than money. For instance, we could give some extra time and attention to someone who’s lonely. In this way we grow to be truly loving people.

The third traditional practice of Lent is prayer. By spending extra time in prayer through Lent we can come closer to God.

It’s been a tough two years for many because of the pandemic. I hope this Lent helps you become more peaceful, more prayerful, more generous, a better person. I hope this Lent helps you come closer to the people around you and closer to God.

Father Michael Gilbert CSsR