Thursday, March 10, 2011


Lent in the Catholic tradition, is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Lent is a time of sacrifice for Jesus. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This period is often marked by what one will give up for 40 days.  Well at least lately it seems as such.  What does Lent really mean to you?  Do you really use these 40 days to reflect on where you've deviated from the path?  Do you spend these 40 days skirting true sacrific or diving in deep, right to the bone?

For me this season always brings a period of inner reflection and during that time I flagellate over the things that I've done and said and thought that were less than pure.  For the things that have sent out into the world that lacked good intention.

I was speaking with a dear friend of mine who reminded me that perhaps it was God's intention to make us in his image but because we were only a copy, we were not to be considered to be more than being in construction.  An individual miracle in progress.  That we learn more about ourselves from the struggle than the acheivement.  Basically, we were meant to make mistakes and to learn from them.  

This is what Lent means to me.  A period of time spent in reflection, atonement, sacrifice for the benefit of purging the ills.  Giving up to others in support of their struggles.  Creating a new path. 

Each year I come out of the 40 days of Lent with a new clarity.  New perspectives.  I come out of this period a little closer to the mark then I was before it began.   I don't have a nifty list of the things I plan to give up.  The things I give up I tend not to want back at the end of the 40 days so what kind of sacrifice is that, really?  What do I want back at the end of Lent that I can't have during Lent?  Is it as simple as offering up my daily vat of coffee?  My guilty pleasure of cruising TMZ?  These all seem so trivial.  I need to dig deep is the bone?

So begins my period of reflection and atonement, sacrifice and almsgiving.  I am a miracle in training.

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