Spiritual Journey on Lent

Lent begins with Feb 14, in this year’s Christian calendar.
Ash-Wednesday is the starting point of the holy journey in this Lent season.
What is Lent? Why is it so widely practiced by Christians all over the world?
Did the first Century church observe Lent? Unlike New Year’s, Christmas,
Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day and other pagan holidays that are celebrated by
the secular, non-religious world, the Lenten season is observed by dedicated
religious believers.

From Ash Wednesday to Easter, many solemnly mark their foreheads with ash,
“fasting” (or abstaining from certain foods or physical pleasures) for 40 days.
This is done to supposedly imitate Jesus Christ’s 40-day fast in the wilderness
(Matt. 4:1-2). Some give up smoking. Others give up chewing gum. Still others
give up over-eating or cursing. Some others fast from waste. Not all waste is
bad, of course–every time you eat, you produce waste–but then, fasting is not
about stopping something bad.

It’s about sacrificing something good so that you can draw near to God. Fast from
the real cultural good of waste management by greatly reducing your own waste.
This means being careful about how you use everything, so that almost nothing is
wasted. People vow to give up anything, as long as it prepares them for Easter.
The real aim of Lent is, above all else, to prepare us for the celebration of the
death and Resurrection of Christ. the better the preparation the more effective
the celebration will be.

Do you want to fast this Lent? In the words of Pope Francis, saying,

Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
Fast from sadness and filled with gratitude.
Fast from anger and be filled with patient.
Fast from pessimism and filled with hope.
Fast from worries and trust in God.
Fast from complains and contemplate simplicity.
Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

One can effectively relive the mystery only with purified mind and heart.
The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning Christians from sin
and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to
do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their
hearts.
I hope everyone in our congregation may have chance uplifting the spirituality by
deepening meditation on Jesus’ journey toward the Cross, and also with some kind
of fasting.

Lark, the minister

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