History and mystery of Lent

Lent is celebrated by Catholics all around the world. It is a time of penance and prayer that spans over 40 days beginning at Ash Wednesday up until Easter. The word “Lent” is derived from an Anglo-Saxon Lenten which means “spring.”

Lent is a time to prepare for a rebirth of ourselves and our relationship with God. Prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, He spent 40 days in the desert and was tempted by the devil several times to fall away from God. After Jesus’ death, the apostles and other disciples would also spend these 40 days fasting and praying to God for strength in their daily lives.

Lent did not become a regular practice among Christians until the legalization of the religion in the year 313. Today, Lent is practiced as a time where we are to give up an item or habit that is not good for our soul. It is also important to increase your daily prayer routine.

It is also a common practice to go to Reconciliation during Lent. Xavier is hosting a reconciliation service on March 5. Going to Reconciliation is important to prepare for the coming of Christ.

When deciding what to give up for Lent it can be difficult to find something that can truly challenge you throughout the 40 days. It is common to give up sweets or social media, but it is also popular to take up something for Lent, like spending more time with your family, or working at your local food bank. If it is difficult to decide what to give up for Lent, consult a local priest or Xavier’s own chaplain Father Kevin Grimditch. Fr. Kevin would love to help find what would be best suited to give up or take up for Lent. Remember to spend this time contemplating of how to improve the lives around you through acts of kindness and love.