Ash Wednesday is finally upon us and I am totally pumped up!!
Who gets psyched for Lent aka the liturgical season of sacrifice, penance, and suffering?
You guessed it.
This girl does! (Amanda, not Adele, just to clarify. She might love Lent too but I’ve never asked her.)
Don’t mistake me for some pious and holy person, let me tell you that’s certainly not the case.
I must admit my melancholic temperament is drawn to the darker and deeper stuff in life such as pain, injustice, suffering, death, and mortality.
Don’t be deceived by how happy I appear. I may be often smiling but I can assure you I am actually thinking about Sarah Mclachlan dog commercials.
All that to say that sure, I might be more inclined to enjoy the Lenten season, but I think it’s awesome for people of all temperaments.
Here in this post, I want to share with you a few reasons of why I love Lent and why I think you should too.
First, I want to say I absolutely love being Catholic for a host (wink, wink) of reasons but particularly because of the liturgical calendar.
Weirdo alert again, amirite?
But seriously, it’s amazing that the Church makes sure her children’s spiritual lives don’t get imbalanced by neglecting certain parts of the life of Christ. This is why we have the rotating Mass readings that essentially take us through all of scripture every three years in addition to all the rotating seasons such as Advent, Lent, Ordinary time, Feast Days, etc.
So much wisdom in the liturgical calendar.
My point is that I love how Lent is an annual season set aside to go deeper in reflection on the life and death of Jesus Christ.
It’s easy to hang with joyfully resurrected Jesus but I absolutely need to occassionally remember what he went through to win Heaven for mine and the souls of all mankind. If I don’t deeply enter into the pain he endured and the wounds inflicted upon him, I will miss something in my spiritual life. I will be stunted from growth. I will be disconnected from Christ in a very intimate way I may not even be aware of.
I’m just so darn thankful that the Church gives us this supreme gift of being able to take 40 days to draw closer to Jesus in his suffering and death. Through this intentional time, we’re given the chance to draw closer to him and obtain strength for our own trials in life as we unite those to Christ.
Don’t even get me started on this one.
We live in a world (at least in the USA) that is so convenient. We don’t have to wait on much of anything anymore.
At the drop of a hat you can download a song, watch a YouTube video, Facebook message you friend from around the world, order Jimmy Johns, binge a Netflix series, buy something on Amazon that will show up less than 2 days later, Google any question you might have, etc. Technology has essentially taken away many immediate needs.
We don’t have to wait or give up anything…which means our sacrificial muscles are atrophied severely.
It’s not just a spiritual belief that fasting is actually GOOD for you. We know that ocassional fasting from food actually has health benefits but this principle applies to sacrificing other things too like time spent in front of screens or on the internet among thousands of other things you could temporarily step away from.
Sure, the fasting from foods, activities, and habits is a good thing in and of itself but what’s beneficial about giving things up is that it creates space in your soul and schedule for more prayer and an opportunity to draw closer to Christ, who gave up everything for us. We can unite our desire for coffee, Facebook, and Netflix to Jesus and allow him to draw us into his own sacrificial love.
Again, so much wisdom the Church is inviting her children into.
Spiritual Spring Cleaning
Last but not least, I think there is no other season like Lent that provides the opportunity to do some serious spring cleaning within your soul.
Just try watching The Passion of The Christ without being deeply moved.
Now spend 40 days meditating on and mulling over the passion and death of Our Lord and prepare to get rocked.
When we GET IT and truly realize not only who Jesus was and what he did for us out of love, we can’t help but be changed forever. He paid the price for us and gave us what we didn’t deserve because of our own mistakes. What mercy!
Each Lent is an opportunity to have a deeper conversion. To unite your suffering and pain to Christ, who can redeem everything. To allow the light of God to cast out the dark parts of your life through the Sacrament of Confession. It’s a new beginning every year. A set aside opportunity to heal. It’s truly a beautiful opportunity.
Here at True Good & Beautiful we wish you a Lent filled with mercy and grace. May you draw closer to the heart of Jesus, the one who wildly loves you and wants to draw you closer to him these next 40 days!
If you are looking for resources on how to go deeper this Lent, check out Lentsanity. Jonathan is the brain-child behind almost everything you’ll see over there! 🙂