Grace of Lent

first_imgDear Editor,Many times, people ask me as to what I have given up for this Lent? Many Christians decide to forgo something for the season of Lent; be it meat, alcohol, chocolate, biscuits, smoking and so on. Apart from material forgoing, some make decision to forgo the things that help them to rediscover God in their lives. Why do we do that in the Lent alone? Why can’t we do it other times of the year? What makes Lent so significant for the people of God?Lent is one of the important seasons in the Christian Liturgical Calendar. It is a season of Grace; a grace poured into our hearts ever since we were born. We grow into an awareness of this grace and renew our relationship with God. In this season we are invited to reflect on our lives and realign our lives towards God. Lent offers us an opportunity to retrospect our commitment to God through prayer, fasting, almsgiving and penance. We acknowledge that we are weak and fragile before God despite our technological advancements. We turn towards God so that he can work in us through his mercy and compassion. We also recognise our love for God and love for our neighbour. Hence, it is a time for fixing our relationship with God. It is the time to make God relevant in our modern times where God has become irrelevant.Lent means ‘spring’; it is a springtime where we are renewed and refreshed through the Lenten observances. We are washed clean so that we enter into paschal mysteries of Christ death and resurrection. The Latin-based language uses the word “Quaresma” for Lent, which simply means 40 days. After the baptism, Jesus was tempted and tried in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights while he was in prayer and fasting. Thus, the Church invites the faithful to reflect on one’s own life to be aware that we are also tempted in our everyday lives. Temptation is part of human life, but how do we deal with it, is more important than dwelling on the issue of temptation.The four pillars of Lent – prayer, penance, almsgiving and fasting – help not only the people in need but makes us empathise with the poor, in other words it makes us feel the pain of the needy; for instance, when we fast, we feel the hunger that a poor person goes through. These pillars help us to mend and to deepen our relationship with God.Sincerely,Fr Jerri Dias SJlast_img

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