The Importance of Lent

Bridget Kasch, Writer, Editor

The Lenten season is upon us yet, not all of us want to take part in it. This holiday time (holiday deriving from the phrase holy day) isn’t one of gift giving, unlike others ones such as Christmas. Instead, this season is all about sacrifice. At this time, it is common for people to give something up, such as sweets, or begin a new healthy habit, such as a new exercise regime. While you are focusing on these new routines, you are to look to God as your source of strength and do it for Him, as He did for us.

Lent is a 46 day period of fasting, although many know it to be 40 days, because the six Sundays are not usually counted. The number 40 holds even more biblical significance than just Jesus’s 40 days in the desert. When Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments “Moses stayed there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights, without eating any food or drinking any water” (Ex 34:28). This is another example of the number 40 holding great significance in relation to fasting for God. Of course, those observing Lent are not eating nothing for the whole period, like Jesus and Moses, but they are merely following in their footsteps and making sacrifices for the Lord. Lent is most commonly known to be a holiday of sacrifice and prayer where people give something up and pray to God to strengthen their self discipline in order to get through it. This period of sacrifice is all leading up the the joyous feast on Easter Sunday where Jesus is said to have risen from the dead.

However, Lent doesn’t have to just be for that purpose. Anyone can participate in Lent. Here at Seton, we are striving to build a community of people who support and uplift one another despite our differences. Anyone can join in on the celebration of Lent by giving up an unhealthy habit or adapting a new or healthier one. In addition to this, you can take some time each day to self reflect, whether this be through prayer or just taking a moment to think about things by yourself. Seton will be offering a way of donating money this year, as we have done in the past. These are called Rice Bowls, and what you can do is donate the change you receive over Lent, or all of your collected change from the whole year. This money will go to a foundation called Catholic Relief Services which to helps the impoverished in third world countries get the nutrients they need. However, this is only one way of celebrating the Lenten Seasons. Overall, our Seton community should use this special time of year to bring us closer together and help build a strong community.