What Does Lent Mean to You?

Ash Wednesday signals the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of preparation for Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

During Lent, we commit to strengthening our faith through the practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. The belief is that our consistent participation in these practices improves our spiritual wellbeing by stripping away all that is unnecessary and becoming more mindful of how God is working in our lives.

Pope Francis says that indifference to God and our neighbour is a real temptation for us. Because we are relatively well off, healthy and comfortable, we tend to forget about others and are unconcerned with their problems. This indifference, Pope Francis says, has reached global proportions and one that we should confront. Lent provides the perfect opportunity for us to reflect and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen us so that we are not indifferent to the needs of others. This shift in attitude starts right where we are, in the College, in our homes and in our local and global community. 

In the Year of Compassion, what will we do differently this Lent? How will we challenge our self and go beyond the usual practice of ‘giving up’ something? Now is a great time to take stock of attitudes and behaviours. Lent is the time to move from a position of indifference to one of concern for the needs of others. 

Not sure where to start? Check out these 5 ideas and commit to them during the Lenten period.

  1. No Gossiping
    Give up gossiping for Lent. If someone says something negative about another person, either say something nice or don’t say anything at all. You would think this is going to be so easy, but when you can’t say anything negative about anyone else, you realise how often it happens.
  2. Take Care of Your Heart & Body
    You could spend Lent focusing on taking care of the body that God gave you. During Lent, why not set aside time each day for yourself. You can go for a walk, join a gym or spend some time in prayer and meditation.
  3. Say 3 Nice Things to Your friends and family every day.
    You may think this is easy but try to say things that you don’t normally say. Challenge yourself to be nice, even when others are not.
  4. Be Generous
    Be generous with your time, and your resources. Listen when someone has a problem and endeavour to do something to lessen their burden.
    Donate more than what is asked to Project Compassion.
  5. Be kind to the planet.
    Make an effort to reduce your carbon footprint this Lent. Take shorter showers, turn off lights when leaving a room, say no to plastic!

Over the next 6 weeks, may we draw from Christ’s death on the cross, the power to be humble, the courage to forgive and the resolution to be a people for others.

May we have a blessed Lent!

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