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To: Salvation
The Meaning of Lent

The rich, liturgical color of royal purple cloaks the season of Lent in its penitential vesture. Simplicity and austerity quietly whisper images of the barren desert. Flowers are absent, music is sparse and the church quietly, but firmly, heralds its reflective “time out.” Things have noticeably changed. As people and as church, we enter the time of serious penitential and baptismal reflection. We take stock and assess our growth in the Christian life. We ask ourselves, “Where is there need for healing and reconciliation in our lives?”

The Church teaches that “Lent is a preparation for the celebration of Easter. For the Lenten liturgy disposes both catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery: catechumens, through several stages of Christian initiation; the faithful, through reminders of their own baptism and through penitential practices” (GNLY #27).

Lent is a time of conversion, of metanoia, a complete turning away from sin into the living arms of our loving God. The Lenten season challenges us to…

* to hear and follow God’s call
* to take time to pray and seek God’s guidance in our lives.
* to turning more fully to God which includes turning in love toward our neighbors through acts of justice, compassion and service
* take time to consider our choices and to look at our relationships for ways to be more loving, more fair, more forgiving and more compassionate.
* take time to share God’s love through acts of service and justice.
* renew our belief in the Easter promise that we share in Jesus’ resurrection
* prepare for renewing our baptismal promises during the Easter liturgies
6 posted on 02/19/2004 9:59:51 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

All of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) tell us that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert where he fasted and prayed for 40 days. As disciples, we seek to follow St. Paul’s call to “pray always.” Lent is a time when we concentrate our prayer on the double meaning of the season: conversion from our sinful ways and renewal of our baptismal promises.

Participating in the Eucharist and praying over the Scripture readings, on a weekly or even daily basis, are helpful ways of prayerfully entering into the season. Private prayer, family prayer and communal prayer all work together to deepen our prayer life, not only during this season, but also all year long

7 posted on 02/19/2004 10:01:11 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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