I was recently asked what I was giving up for Lent and answered quite frankly, “Nothing.” Having gone to Catholic school for the majority of my life; I remember being taught about the season of Lent and acknowledging the Stations of the Cross, but it never stuck with me. I don’t recall ever giving up anything for Lent nor having the conviction to do so. I decided to refresh my memory on where it all originated and the significance behind it.
I found this site: http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0527.html . It was very informative and explained in great detail why believers choose to celebrate this season. It also created an atmosphere for me to reflect on why I choose not to. And it comes down to the last line: “Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.”
Understanding the tradition of not eating meat to symbolize abstaining from things of the flesh… and understanding the significance of Jesus’ crucifixion and rising from the dead, for it is because of these events that we were freed from sin; I also understand that there’s a propensity to get caught up in tradition having been raised under it for years and not recognizing that Christianity is a lifestyle. This walk lasts well beyond 40 days and there’s no season like the present to fast, repent of sin, or study the Word, be it March or July.
The renewing of our faith can take on many meanings. It could mean that during the Lenten season we bring ourselves back into remembrance of what Christ died for and what we were delivered from. It could mean recommitting ourselves to the things of God. I’d like it to mean that we reevaluate where we are in our faith and explore ways to increase it. I just don’t want tradition to cause us to rely on a certain season to explore our faith and lessen the need to hear God’s voice throughout the year as it relates to it.
Lastly, celebrating salvation is something I do during my normal prayer time. I celebrate it when I attend regular services. I just may even celebrate it on the drive into work. I don’t take it lightly at all. I put the demand on myself to recognize all that He died for year round no matter what the season. Lent is an important time in which Christians across the world reflect on the sacrifice of God and I encourage all those that see fit to celebrate this season. My only plea is that when the 40 days are over, and Easter has come and gone, that we continue to celebrate through our constant prayer, sacrifice, and faith walk the fact that He not only died but LIVES within us this very day.
It’s Tuesday with Bianca