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Setting the Tone for Lent - My Latest on

My Latest on

Almost one week into Lent and it still feels like a shock to the system – understandably so! Lent is very early this year. Christmas was just six weeks ago, and only two weeks ago we were celebrating Candlemas!
But as jarring as the early arrival of Ash Wednesday was, I know that I NEED this season of Lent, maybe even more than Christmas! Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the decorations, parties, goodwill and generosity of Christmas. But truth be told, there’s a lot of work that goes into preparing for the holidays that come ON TOP of the other duties that come with taking care of a family and running a household.

Lent is almost the opposite of that. Instead of putting up elaborate lights and decorations, we are taking things down, and making our decor and our daily lives simpler. Instead of parties, we attend stations of the cross or an extra Mass. And instead of labor-intensive cookies and other goodies, we prepare simple suppers and give up excess sugary treats. Lent is a liturgically built-in retreat that calls us to simplify our lives and focus ourselves and our families on our relationships with God. It’s the time to re-examine our priorities and make the changes that need to be made with the time we have left. The church gives us the next 40 days to just be still and evaluate how we are doing on that pilgrimage towards heaven.

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lent 2011