The meaning behind Lent and how long it lasts

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Every year, between the months of February and March, there is a traditional holy day that occurs on Wednesday called ‘Ash Wednesday,’ signifying the beginning of Lent.

Lent is a period of 40 days and nights before Easter in the Liturgical calendar. It’s a time of remembrance and celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Lent can teach you in ways that you’re probably not too familiar with. It could mean life lessons, so acknowledge the necessary changes that need to be adjusted in your own life.

We try to empty ourselves of our self-righteousness and pride to see how to respond to God’s call in new ways by placing ourselves in his hands. Through God’s power, people bring deep hope into their lives by loving and believing that God shall never perish, but have eternal life.

Lent gives an opportunity to open our minds and hearts to the transforming power of God through his presence and grace.

Lent is a 40 day period where there are regulations to follow and to understand the true meaning of Lent, such as the tradition of not eating meat on Fridays and only eating one full meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

These meanings on those particular days comes from an ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. This practice includes the wearing of the ashes in the form of the cross on the forehead. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made others.

Once the person receives their ashes and repent for their sins, then they are to follow the steps of God, and the idea of giving up precious items for Lent.

Through 40 days, Jesus spent time in the wilderness and endured the temptation of Satan, and prepared to begin his ministry, according to Bible verse Matthew 4:1-2.

For some, Lent is a 40 day period of giving up meat, chocolate, caffeine, social media whatever the case may be. It’s a mental challenge because it’s hard to give up what you love the most.

Lent is a challenge to face because it teaches sacrificing growth through self-denial, fastening, penitence and simplicity.

In Catholic churches, there are purple banners to represent the origin color of Lent, symbolizing pain, suffering, mourning and penitence. It’s the liturgical color for the season of Lent, and is the color of royalty, so traditionally it has also been used for Advent in other Catholic churches.

As a Christian, I started Lent when I was 10 years old. From my experiences throughout my life I can tell you that it’s no joke to give up something that our minds are used to doing.

Lent reminds me why I am giving up something for spiritual growth, for it shall help me build a stronger relationship to being closer with God for my life.

Giving up items that we love or eat takes a sacrifice, but it’s a reminder to Catholics, Christians and to anyone who believes in the Lord to show discipline, devotion, and the preparation for God’s arrival.

God made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us by letting his only begotten son Jesus to die on the cross for us, so we must show respect by sacrificing something in our own lives for him.

Why do I Lent? I want to be closer to God and know that my soul will be in the hands of him and keep thanking him every single day for the life that I have today.