The purpose of Lent

Kloe Soderberg

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What is Lent? The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self denial. Lent, the period of prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter, is forty days long, but there are forty six days between Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar and Easter.

Deciding if you want to “give up” something, Lent is based on sacrifice, the believe that Jesus Christ walked through the desert for forty days and forty nights, without food or water. So for most Catholics, deciding to stop eating a favorite food or pursuing a favorite activity. However there is also an option to choose to do something instead. For example, saying an extra pray everyday, or going to church twice a week or read some scripture verses.

Many people partaking in Lent find it harder to commit to doing something extra in this forty-day period, while others see it as the easy option. “I personally believe it is easier to give something up rather than to commit to do something extra every day, just in case I forget,” 8th grader Charley Phillips said.

If you decide to give up something, determine what is important to you. For example, do not give something up you do not like, that is not a sacrifice at all. I would recommend if you are stuck deciding on what to give up, sit down and think of what your favorite treats, snacks, desserts or activities are. These things that are truly important to you might seem like a difficult thing to do without for forty days.

Last thing I recommend is to stick with the decision you’ve made. Whether is be giving up your favorite dessert or reading an extra psalm everyday, stick with the decision you have made. Don’t give up and don’t quit. It will be well worth it when you wake up on Easter morning. Jesus ate nothing for forty days, and should be able to sacrifice one little bit of our busy lives. “It can be hard at times to stick with what I decided to give up and tempting at times, but it’s all worth it at the end,” 8th grader Wylie Knight said.