Lent in the Church
I welcome you all to another Sunday with the catholic catechism.
Today, our focus shall be on the Scripture and Lenten observances.
However, let us understand the meaning of Lent.
Meaning of Lent
Lent according to the church, is one of the seasons of the church as a matter of facts, it is the main penitential season on the liturgical calendar of the catholic church.
The period of lent is also common and popular also among non-Catholics.
Lent is a period of forty days of fasting, prayers, Alms giving and penitence beginning at Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown of Holy Thursday.
Why do Catholics observe lent?
During the period of lent especially, Catholics continue to express sorrow for their sins and a desire to draw closer to God through Prayer, fasting and alms giving.
Many may argue that why do we set aside forty days for fasting, prayer and alms giving for our sins.
The truth there is that the church in her wisdom knows that if a time and season is not set like this, many, if not all might neglect this discipline or practice entirely.
The practice of penitence can be dated back to the Old Testament.
In the life of the ancient Israel, God himself, set the precedent for designating special days for penance.
Through Moses he commanded the people to observe an annual Day for atonement (Yom Kippur) “On the tenth day of the seventh month”. (Lv. 16:29).
In the later times, the Jewish people set aside additional days and seasons of penitential fasting (Zec 8:19).
The practice of penitential days also continued in the early church by the early Christians when we read Acts 13:2-3 and it became a tradition in the early church.
Why Forty Days.
The forty days of Lent observed in the church, emanate from the Bible.
Recalling that Christ our Saviour after his Baptism, was led by the Holy Spirit to the wilderness for a period of forty days and night where he fasted for Forty days and night without water and food and he was engrossed with intense prayer after which he was tempted by the Devil (Lk 4: 1-13).
During the period of Lenten, Catholics are called to observe these three things which include prayer, fasting and alms giving.
These three observances, are they geared towards Holiness?
When we pray during the Lenten period, it draws us closer to God and make our spirit align with our creator more closely.
We are called as Catholics to observe some prayers that helps us to reflect on the passion and sufferings of Christ like the Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy prayer the Holy Rosary especially the Sorrowful mysteries.
When we Fast during Lent, it helps us to Detach ourselves from worldly pleasures.
It draws us closer to God who has something better in store for us.
Fasting helps us pray well too.
Fasting is a nice and easy way to connect in the spirit and its lifts the spirit for praises.
Alms giving is a way of detaching ourselves from the things that we love so much thus making room for God.
We can give alms to those who we know are in need of it either in kind or cash and be sure that your reward will come in Heaven or Earth.
The major thing is not the reward but to give to God through that person or persons who are need.
It therefore means that when we are faithful to these three Lenten observances, after these forty days, we will come out better Catholics and better Christians.
Happy Sunday my dear readers.
May God grant us a successful Lenten campaign 2022, Amen.