Lent Is A Period Of Fasting, Praying, & Repetence

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Lent signifies the 40 days of fasting in order to imitate the fasting of Jesus Christ after His Baptism (the Epiphany).

It lasts exactly 40 days. Let’s start with how the date of Easter Sunday is derived. in 325 AD, Constantine I, Roman emperor, convoked the Council of Nicaea. The council unanimously ruled that the Easter festival should be celebrated throughout the Christian world on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox, also known as the winter solstice. That’s why Easter changes from year to year. But because Sunday is our day of worship, it will always be a Sunday. This is the first Holy Day of the Easter season. It occurs exactly 40 days before Easter Sunday. As Catholics, we look at the 40 days of Lent as a time of repentance. That’s why we do not eat meat on Ash Wednesday or any Friday during this time. It is a form of fasting and of self control. Ash Wednesday was originally the date that the early Christian’s used to cast out the community sinners into the streets.

Lent Is A Period Of Fasting, Praying, & Repetence

Those that were cast out spent the next 40 days fasting, praying, doing alms, and offering all of their possessions unto the Lord. They were marked on the forehead with a cross made from ashes that were from the burnt palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. They were required to wear these ashes for all of the Lenten season, so as all would know them as sinners. On Easter Sunday, they were welcomed back to the Church, and given new clothes to replace their tattered rags that they had not changed in 40 days. They were forgiven their sins, and all had a great celebration in honor of Christ’s resurrection, and thus, the forgiveness of all of our sins. Today, our sins are between us, our Priest, and God. But there was only one perfect person, and every one sins in some way or another, so we present ourselves for the Distribution of Ashes on Ash Wednesday to represent our sins, our repentance, our pertinence, and God’s forgiveness. During the Lenten season, every Friday night we walk the Stations of the Cross, so that we may grow closer to understand what Jesus endured to secure our forgiveness of sin. It is a time of reflection, meditation and prayer. If we do this every week, by Easter, we are ready to rejoice in our salvation, and understand the meaning of Jesus’ sacrifices for us. Not many Catholics really spend time walking the Stations of the Cross, but I find it to be extremely mood altering and a very worthwhile experience.