Growing up in the Catholic Church, the Lenten season, which starts on Ash Wednesday, the 40 days before Easter Sunday, signified the days before Jesus’ death on the cross as a sacrifice of love for us and His subsequent rise from the grave.
For some of us, it was a time of fasting or sacrificing something significant in our lives. Limited in my belief and so immature in my understanding, I would usually give up candy, soda or something that gave me great comfort—I found it painful on so many levels. As I grew older, drinking alcohol was set aside for the 40-day period. As I said, I gave up what comforted me.
Looking at the calendar this morning I realize that tomorrow, February 18, is Ash Wednesday and although I do not practice the Catholic faith, it still signifies a time of sacrifice and new beginnings.
These days the Lenten season is a time of reflection, gratitude, and health—body, mind and spirit. It is a time to focus on my continual need for God’s grace. It’s another chance to make a fresh start toward total health and spiritual renewal.
My relationship with God has evolved over the years. I have come to new understanding of the sacrifice Jesus made so that we would know His Father’s heart and live through His Holy Spirit in freedom and love. That remains the most significant in my mind and heart—and what brings me real comfort.
It is a season of new life and hope.