Student reflects on meaning of Lent

Commentary By
Nora Backus

In today’s constantly evolving society, things such as religion and religious traditions are often lost due to our generation’s fast pace.

It is hard for us, as a culture, to step back and see the bigger picture of reality. Life isn’t always about having the newest technology or being up to date with the latest movies or television shows. All too commonly, our society allows us to become so involved in life that we forget to enjoy living.

The holiday of Lent, however, gives Christians [and those of other religions] a chance to evaluate themselves and their life’s decisions.

The season of Lent is a spiritual journey.

Lasting 40 days, Christians are meant to use the holiday as repentance for any sins they may have committed. Catholics believe Jesus spent 40 days in the desert to do the same. Lent, especially the last week, “Holy Week” are the most important days of the Catholic Church’s calendar.

The idea of Lent is to be reborn with Jesus on Easter Sunday. To most Christians, this means receiving ashes on their foreheads, the absence of meat and the pressure to “give” something up. However, none of these things amount to examining ones choices or changing ones action.

According to the Church’s customs, Catholics are supposed to repent for their sins by withholding from something. To most, this means giving up things such soda, candy and meat.

The belief is that while going without these items one will learn more about themselves. The reality, however, is giving up chocolate or ice cream won’t help one begin to soul search. While restraining Jesus’ struggle and pain should become more understandable. Often, the realization that Christ was brutally murdered for our sins is forgotten. Lent has in many ways become a cliché way of dieting or having a reason to do good deeds.

The truth is clearly seen, although hidden for most. Lent shouldn’t promote spreading love and goodness for a small period of time every year. The concept of Lent should be present at all times. The temptations of evil may always be present, but life is full of vices.

This is why the notions of growing spiritually are most heavily needed in every day life. If one can master giving up a vice during Lent, avoiding most evils should be possible. Christians should rethink their “biggest” vice this year and go with a different route.

Instead of giving” up something or feeling the need to do so, think about doing this: take the time to examine life for it has to offer. Identifying ones inner morals is a huge step to understand and changing oneself for the better.

This Lent, talk to God and understand his words.