Originally Published in The Messenger, for Spanish-speaking people in the Diocese of Belleville Click here to read the article en Español
Life can happen quickly- you know the feeling- doesn’t it seem like you just celebrated a birthday or anniversary and you just turn around and it’s time to celebrate that occasion again! There are annual celebrations in life that are just suddenly here. Lent is one of those celebrations. Wait a minute- Lent is a celebration?? We “observe” Lent, we may even “suffer” through Lent, but have you ever thought of it as a time to “celebrate”? The Church invites us to enter into this sacred time and live in a new way our preparation for Easter
To celebrate Lent identifies us with our faith. To live and celebrate Lent aligns us with our tradition. Our faith teaches us that this is a time where there is a space for God and that it is important. We recognize that not all days and all times of the year are equal. Your life changes, you yourself change from year to year. Therefore we need not live Lent in the same way every year.
Let’s look at some different ways to live and celebrate this Lent.
- A Christ Centered -Lent. Christ is the center of everything including the liturgical season of Lent; Christ in his state of suffering is the road. Other roads will be good if they lead to Christ. Other doctrines, gifts, devotions are worth something if they are even timidly flowing in Christ. Nothing is more important than the love of Christ.
- A Contemplative Lent. Hear the voice of God through silence and contemplation. Be alert and attentive to the building of His Kingdom as you listen to His voice. The contemplative life is so close to the mystery of God that it is beyond the world to understand.
- An Ecclesial Lent . Lent lives in “Church” so that Christ’s community feels more like “Church”. The community is the common bond of each and all to Christ. In community life we are called to be effective and truly united with Christ and with each other sharing all from the deepest levels
- A Sacramental Lent. Rediscover our baptism where we were “submerged” into the death and resurrection of Christ and filled with his Spirit for confirmation. Look at the sacrament of confession as a way which leads to reconciliation with God and with your brothers and sisters. Hold the Eucharist conscientiously, living it in faith and love.
- A Samaritan Lent. Deeply love, serve, help, and live in solidarity with others, especially the suffering and the needy. Try not to be discouraged over the distances and divisions within the Church. Be the agent of unity in the community. Give without expecting reward and give with love.
- A Joyful Lent. When you fast, when you pray, when you give alms, do it always with evangelical joy. Christian joy is to permeate our whole life. It must be a sign of our identity. The celebration of Lent – the way of Passover is to provoke in us an experience of profound joy. We must be the community of joy, a people of the Beatitudes feeling their presence in our weakness because we believe in Jesus.