Catechetical Spot

“Lent: A Change of Mind and Heart.” 

Lent is perhaps my favorite liturgical season as it leads the Church to the celebration of Easter, the three holiest days of the Church year; Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.  Lent is a time to examine ourselves to determine how we are living out our commitment to the way of Jesus Christ.  It requires honesty from us.  That is in itself difficult because it takes time.  In our culture setting aside time for quiet is very difficult.  Most go from one activity to another until falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day.

The Church in its wisdom calls its members to observe Lent in three ways; prayer, almsgiving and fasting.  Fasting can help us to hunger for something other than the ordinary.  We can hunger for time to spend with the Lord in prayer.  From the practice of fasting and prayer we might find that we need to address the practice of almsgiving, when we can share what we have with others.

The result of these three Lenten practices is that we might be able to experience a change of heart and mind.  The word for this is metanoia, a Greek word.  However we approach the Lenten Season, it seems that it is a wonderful time to deepen our faith or friendship with God.  Whatever stands in the way of this deeper friendship needs to be removed from our lives.  We do need to repent and come to know more deeply the wonderful love that God has for us.  We see that love in his Son, Jesus Christ.  When we understand the love of God through Jesus, we want to change our minds and hearts and become more committed to his way.

~by Helen Ackermann