Make Lent Result In A New Mind & New Heart
This week we enter once again into the season Lent. It is spiritually very important that we make the most of the season. Our Lord says to us, “Now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation”. Lent has its origins in the desire of early Christians to imitate Christ in his 40 days in the desert. Initially it was the time when those who were preparing for baptism entered into an intense period of prayer and fasting before their incorporation into the Church at Easter. But it soon became the custom for all those who were already Christian to accompany the catechumens on their spiritual journey and by their own more intense prayer, fasting and almsgiving to renew their own dedication to Christ. It is this deepening of our faith and Christian living that Lent offers to us.
Perhaps the most important thing for us to understand about Lent is that it is, first and foremost, not simply a time of “doing something”. But we must understand why we add these things to our lives. We add them because we are called to change our minds and hearts. We are called to alter our ways of thinking and acting in those areas where we are not yet fully in accord with Christ. We have to take a look at where we are and where we should be and then do what is necessary to change. So our Lenten practices have a definite goal. They need to make us different people come Easter. As we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, we have to rise to a new way of living in those areas that need change. I urge you, then, to make this a good Lent, one where your practices and your prayers will truly result in a new mind and a new heart.
Some Lenten trivia:
- Did you know that the word Lent comes from the Old English word for spring? In other languages the word usually comes from the Latin term “Quadragesima” which means forty days.
- The word Carnival comes from the Latin word “carnevale” which means farewell to flesh. It was a time to eat up all the remaining meat, which could not be eaten during Lent.
- The words Mardi Gras are French words meaning “Fat Tuesday”. It was the day to use up all the fats, eggs, and other dairy products before the fasting and abstinence of Lent began.