The Catholic Church spans a very long time and has seen the rise and fall of kingdoms, entire wars, and even outliving nations.
Although one thing, well two things, have stood the same Christ and Lent. Historians agree that the 40-day period before Easter, known as Lent, emerged shortly following the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. This means that not just the Catholic Church celebrates Lent but in fact the orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Episcopal Methodist, and many more.
Lent has been a lasting tradition, but why?
Lent is central to the beliefs of Christians. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “Lent is a 40-day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It’s a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter.”
Now that we know what Lent is, what do we do during Lent?
The USCCB says that during Lent we are “to seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully.”
So now that we have the how, when, and why, what are some recommendations on how to share this Lenten season?
A good recommendation is to abstain from things that you feel are unnecessary from your life like soda, candy, phone, procrastinating.
Another would be to try a 40-day challenge. Every day that you walk around your house, collect 40 things to donate or discard. Either way, you can be certain to declutter your room or house.
Some more good ideas come from Scriptures. Make small everyday sacrifices. Ask questions to deepen your faith.
An even better idea is to find your own way to celebrate Lent this season. Find something that you can abstain from to make you into the person you want to be. Whether it is your phone, Xbox, PlayStation, candy, or other junk foods, do it. This season is about making ourselves better to better understand Christ.